There comes a time in every cook’s life when they realize that they don’t have an ingredient they need for a recipe. Sometimes those moments happen in the midst of preparing a meal. Sometimes cooks just have to improvise. Sometimes cooks just have to “fake it” and force their way through life’s unexpected problems.
I’ve had some long, long days at work recently, which is why my blog posts have become less frequent. A few nights ago, I came home from work and I was craving something spicy. I wanted to make a variation of my Yin and Yang Chicken Wraps because it was quick and easy to prepare. I prepped the vegetables and chicken and just as I was getting ready to fry the chicken, I realized that I didn’t have any eggs.
Eggs are something that I always keep on hand…except this time.
I usually fry chicken by dipping the chicken in egg and dredging it in flour. That’s Chicken 101. Of course, buttermilk could be used instead of egg… that’s the classic recipe for southern fried chicken. Buttermilk is not something I usually have on hand.
In a moment of inspiration, or desperation, I decided to use milk and Italian dressing instead of eggs.
Why Italian dressing? Why not? I figured that if I was going to improvise I might as well try something completely new.
The result was some very crispy and very delicious chicken. The rest of the preparation was smooth sailing and I made some extremely spicy wraps. So, satisfying!
Italian dressing contains oil, among other things, and that, combined with the milk, gave the flour something to stick to and it produced great flavor.
I ate two of the large wraps and went to bed an hour later. Big mistake! The joy I experienced while eating the spicy chicken wraps was perfectly balanced by the upset stomach I experienced 5 hours later as I drove to work the next morning. Yin and Yang, indeed!
So, don’t panic when you find yourself missing an ingredient. Trust your instincts and face adversity bravely. Improvise. Be daring!
Oh, and don’t go to sleep an hour after you eat…especially if you eat something very spicy!
Do as I say, not as I do.
2 thoughts on “A Night at the Improv”
Great save! When I give cooking demos, I always emphasis that a recipe is just a base to improvise upon. But no doubt the rule of not eating spicy foods before going to bed should not be broken! 🙂
I love marinating chicken in Italian dressing. That was a great idea!