Tales of A Paleo Mom

Dinner Disaster

on January 15, 2014

Dinner time in our house is at a set time, 6:30 pm, due to everyone’s schedules but particularly my husband’s work schedule.  It has always been important for our family to all sit down at the dinner table to eat our nightly meal together, so having a set time makes it easy.

Normally.

Tonight…not so much.  Tonight, I ruined my perfect record of getting dinner on the table by 6:30. I had already pushed dinner out until 7:00 (due to a “girl emergency” which required me to drive my 13 year old daughter to the drug store once I got home from work at 5:00 pm-life happens), but I was confident that I could get dinner on the table by 7:00.  It was one of the family’s favorite meals – herb brick chicken with pan dripping gravy and oven roasted potatoes.

Tonight, I made a mistake…for some reason, I changed from the family’s normal mashed potatoes to oven roasted potatoes (remember I live with a SAD family).  I decided put the chicken and the potatoes into one of our double ovens after asking my mother-in-law if that would affect cooking time.  (One of the ovens, the bottom oven, is used as storage for cookie sheets and various baking dishes, and I was being lazy.)  She told me it shouldn’t, so I got the chicken into the oven at 6:00 and the potatoes made it by 6:15.  Timing was good.

Tonight, I was wrong, and I learned a valuable cooking lesson.

Putting two BIG items like a 4 lb. chicken in a HUGE cast iron skillet and potatoes on a cookie sheet in one oven WILL AFFECT COOKING TIME.

I took the chicken out at 7:00 pm as my dear husband walked through the door starving, and I saw pink.  Not a pretty pink like roses or bubble gum but a pink like really-not-cooked-still-very-pink-not-going-to-eat-for-at-least-another-30-minutes-or-you’re-going-to-get-sick-if-you-eat-me pink!  Crap!  Then I started to stress about trying to get something edible onto the table before my husband had to get back working.

Somehow (thank goodness for my mother-in-law) dinner was saved.  She suggested we slice the raw chicken and pan fry it in the cast iron skillet with the drippings.  She sliced and I pan fried, and we managed to get dinner on the table with enough time for my husband to eat before he had to run out the door.  Dinner disaster avoided…barely!

I know some people believe that putting two items into the oven will increase cooking time slightly which I agree is probably true if you put both items on the same rack and they are of the same size.  Say baked goods like two muffin tins.  But it was the size (size does matter?!?) that made the difference.  The cookie sheet on the bottom rack of the oven and the ginormous cast iron skill that had the butterflied chicken in it affected the temperature of the oven and the cooking time of the chicken.  The stupid thing…we have double ovens as i mentioned before.  So I am pretty sure this whole dinner fiasco could have been avoided if I would have cleared out the bottom oven (currently used as storage) and had thrown the potatoes or chicken into the other oven.

Recipe coming tomorrow…Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries and Pistachios, and I will share Stitch Fix #2 (next one is scheduled for Feb. 11!!!).

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