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Posts tagged ‘tulipomania’

This Is Why All Decisions Regarding Cheese Should Go Through Me

I just learned something weird.

In the 1630s, the Dutch became obsessed with tulipsThey threw tulip-themed dinner parties.  They met at taverns after work to drink wine and look at bulbs, and they made crazy–absolutely crazy– financial decisions in the hope that the price of tulips would keep going up.

Tulips only bloom in April and May for about one week, so during the rest of the year people signed contracts to sell bulbs they wouldn’t have until the end of the blooming season.  This essentially started a market in tulip futures.  [STAY WITH ME, LIBERAL ARTS PEOPLE.]  The price of tulip contracts rose and rose until the Dutch were trading the most ridiculous things for them.  According to an article in The Paris Review, one particularly nutty guy traded the following items for a rare bulb.  I repeat: for ONE (1) SINGLE BULB, he pledged:

a bed
a suit
a silver goblet
4 fat oxen
8 fat pigs
12 fat sheep
160 gallons of wine
2 tons of butter
2.5 tons of wheat
4 tons of beer
5 tons of rye
1,000 lbs. of cheese

To be clear, that was A THOUSAND POUNDS OF CHEESE.  Probably Gouda, no less.

You know the thought experiment “If you could go back in time and have dinner with one person, who would you pick?”  Well I’d pick that guy.  I’d go over to his place, pour myself some of that wine, scratch each of his 12 fat sheep behind the ears, and then I’d whack him upside the head.  Because I’m pretty sure the ancient documents say HE THAT KNOWETH A THOUSAND POUNDS OF CHEESE SHALL NOT WASTETH THEM LIKE AN IDIOT.

I do not wantonly give away cheese, you guys.  I take it very seriously.

I suspect you’re a bunch of cheese lovers too, so I want to introduce you to these Parmesan chicken fingers.  They’re worth approximately 100 tulip bulbs in today’s currency.

chicken fingersThe dish comes together in about 30 minutes.  All you have to do is combine the wet ingredients, combine the dry ingredients, and dredge the chicken in both.  Then throw it in the oven for about 15 minutes.chicken fingers For the past two months, these chicken fingers have been in our weekly meal rotation.  They’re juicy on the inside, slightly tangy from the mayo and the buffalo sauce coating, and crunchy on the outside.  Not crunchy like fried crunchy, but pleasantly crisp in a healthier, baked way.

But back to our story–

On February 7, 1637, the tulip bubble burst.  The tulip speculators were ruined.  The Dutch people went back to polishing their clogs and snacking on herring, since chicken fingers hadn’t been invented yet.

The End.

Baked Chicken Fingers {Download & Print Recipe}
by eggton
(I was inspired by my friend Caitlin, and I developed a version of this recipe for Life & Beauty Weekly magazine.)
I highly recommend using panko breadcrumbs where called for in this recipe.  I’ve done it with regular canned bread crumbs, which are more finely ground, and the chicken fingers aren’t as light and crunchy as when I make it with panko.  The cayenne, along with the buffalo sauce, give the chicken fingers a little kick.  If you’re making these for kids who don’t like spicy food, be sure to use mild buffalo sauce (or substitute Dijon mustard) and leave out the cayenne.  I prefer to buy chicken breasts and cut them into strips instead of buying chicken tenders, which often have a strip of tendony stuff running down the middle.

Ingredients:

1 1/2-2 lbs. chicken breasts or chicken tenders

1/2 c. panko breadcrumbs

1/2 c. seasoned breadcrumbs

1/2 c. grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese

4 Tbsp. butter, melted

1/4 c. mayonnaise

1/4 c. buffalo sauce

1/2 tsp. cayenne (optional, makes it a little spicy)

1/4 tsp. dry mustard (optional)

1/8 tsp. salt

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Rinse and clean the chicken, and if you have chicken breasts instead of tenders, use kitchen scissors to cut the breasts into strips.  (It doesn’t matter how wide
your strips are, just try to be consistent so your pieces will cook evenly).  Place the chicken pieces on a paper towel and pat dry.
In a pie tin or large shallow bowl, combine both bread crumbs, Parmesan, the cayenne and dry mustard (if using) and salt.  Stir to combine.  Drizzle the melted butter over the dry ingredients and mix with a fork (or better yet, your hands) until the dry ingredients are evenly moistened.

In a separate small bowl, combine the buffalo sauce and the mayonnaise. Stir to combine.  Have a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a pyrex dish handy.  To prepare the chicken fingers, take a piece of chicken and dip part of it in the buffalo sauce mixture.  Use your fingers to lightly coat the chicken—you don’t want it totally gloppy otherwise your chicken fingers will be soggy.  Then dredge the chicken in the crumb mixture, flipping it over and using your fingers to lightly pack a thick crumb coating onto the chicken.  Transfer the chicken finger to the baking sheet.  Repeat with the remaining chicken.  (You may need two baking sheets or do two batches.)

Bake the chicken until it’s cooked through.  This may only take 10-15 minutes for thin pieces of chicken, longer if the chicken you  have on the thick side.  Confirm the chicken is no longer pink in the middle by cutting a piece off one of the thickest chicken fingers and testing it.

Serve with dipping sauces like BBQ, ketchup, buffalo sauce, honey mustard, or ranch.

~~~

This is what it looks like outside our house.snowBut it’s okay, because this is what it looks like inside.thunder and scott sleeping