My brother and I not only look a great deal alike, we share some of the same interests namely food, reading and writing. The similarities end there: I like prose – particularly narrative non-fiction and big hearty meals. Carl focuses his energy on poetry and one could argue his cooking takes on poetic edge of nuanced flavors and focus on getting the most flavor out of a few ingredients. (That’s also the difference between French and Italian cuisine, one is about the cook and the other is about the ingredient, but don’t read too much into that.)
I have been trying to get Carl to contribute to the blog since its inception, Carl’s writing, poetry often revolves around slow moments and small pleasures, sometimes even involving food. You can learn more about Carl and his new book Curses & Wishes at carladamshick.com.
by Carl Adamshick
Here is a super easy salad to make next time you have chicken. Pick up a bunch of Italian parsley. I don’t know what curly parsley is. It seems to be for garnishing, to put on a plate with a slice of orange in an old school diner where everyone is confused if they should eat it or not. You should certainly eat it, but for this salad stay away from it and buy the Italian or flat parsley. Get some capers and a lemon, that’s all you need. Well, and salt, if you don’t already have some by the stove. Rinse and let parsley dry, cut down from the top leafy part in lengths as long as a fork’s tine until you reach the end of the leaves. The stems can be composted or saved to put into a soup stock. Place chopped parsley into a bowl with two tablespoons of capers, juice of half the lemon and a tablespoon olive oil, or a little more. Toss and salt.
As for the chicken, take a skinless, boneless breast and pound it flat. That’s right! Pound it flat. I like to use the smooth side of a meat tenderizer for my pounding. I also like to keep the brown, waxed paper from the store under the chicken and the thin sheets the butchers use for grabbing across the top of the chicken while pounding. The breast should be somwhere between a quarter inch to a half inch thick. Fry with a little olive oil over medium high heat (about three minutes a side) or until it is a good crispy brown. This process of pounding something flat in the kitchen is called scalopine and it happens more often than you would think. I like to serve a healthy scoop of cold diced tomatoes somewhere between the salad and the bird. If you think you need a startch or a grain to round out the meal, toast some bread and then put a layer of mustard on the slices. I must confess. When I’m feeling uncivilized I do without the bread and the plate. I chop the chicken into pieces that will fit on a fork and put it (along with the tomatoes) into the bowl with the parsley salad. Usually eaten by myself while watching a movie and drinking a nice blonde ale.