Thursday, September 12, 2013
Tangy Dijon Chicken
As I'm writing this, I have a cold. I'm not entirely sure because for the first time in a long time, I'm sick before Graham or Hannah. That's weird, and it rarely happens. Usually Graham brings something home from school or Hannah comes home with God-knows-what from the kids at daycare. Whatever virus-from-hades this is, it's kicking my butt. I am wiped, I tell you.
Speaking of things gone viral, I'm sure by now we've all logged in to Pinterest and seen the same pictures 30 times over. We've all logged in to FB and have seen something from the incomparable George Takei. And by now, we've all seen the clips of Justin Timberlake and NSYNC reuniting at the VMAs. (I fangirled all over my front room.) Let me tell you, if something goes viral on Pinterest, it's entirely in the realm of possibility that you'll see it on your feed no less than 18,000 times before it's replaced by something else. For me, those viral images are usually food. (Food is, of course, one of my highest priorities.)
This meal went viral a few months ago and I made it this past spring. (Look at how timely I am.) I made some changes, first of all to the name--because I'm skeptical and think it was named specifically with Pinterest virality in mind. Sing for Your Supper has a really great post from July about the beast that has become the blogosphere. It's sad but true. You make it, you style it, you pin it.....you really need to WORK for your blog. When I started my blog in 2008, crappy, slightly blurry food pics were okay. Hell, some recipe blogs didn't even need or have pictures--check out some of my posts from my first year. As more people got into the game, food blogs needed a way to stand out, and some people got lucky with their pictures and recipes, some got lucky with their little "slice of life" stories, and others had to work for every single page view.
If I shared my stats with you, most "big bloggers" would probably gasp and their jaws would drop. "Why even bother?!" (Hint: My page views are nowhere near six digits.) I don't host ads on my site because (and in fairness, I haven't ever tried or approached an ad provider) I'm sure my monthly page views aren't enough for most companies to even consider my little corner of the Internetz worthwhile. And if you look at my archives, you'll see there are huge gaps in my posting here and there, from times where I got busy and had a baby, to times where I just didn't feel like blogging and wasn't inspired. And I'm okay with all of that. My blog is for me and the 10 people out there who read it. ::waves::
I think the food blogging community is pretty special, though for most of it's life, I've been an outsider. I've watched some of my internet friends grow into pseudo-blogging celebrities. I've made some real friends out of my internet friends. I've seen internet friends with little blogs grow into huge blog celebrities (by my definition, anyway) and I like to say that I knew them by their screen name before they hit it big. I don't know how or why the blogosphere morphed into this animal that seems to require hours and hours of my day--hours that I don't have, btw--but it just re-enforces my resolve to blog for me. I blog when I want, how I want, and whoever reads it reads it. That's not to say I wouldn't love being paid to work at home and blog full-time in the comfort of my jammies. But really, I think that's what people are reaching for. Everyone wants to be the next big thing, everyone wants to be an internet celebrity. The thing about the internet is that everything is ZOMG SUPER POPULAR AND WONDERFUL OMGZZZZ for about 0.000093 seconds before the masses move on to the next thing. So why push for blog celebrity status when it's so much work?
I'm blessed. I have a beautiful daughter, a good job, a happy cat, and a husband who is incredibly supportive of my weird habits and has *almost* stopped rolling his eyes and sighing when I tell him what's for dinner on any given night. I blog for fun, I've made some real friends out of internet friends (some of whom I haven't ever met "IRL" but really, it doesn't seem to matter all that much), and when some recipe I posted reaches 100 page views, I squee to myself a little. If I ever happen to take off, then yay! In reality, I don't see that happening any time soon. I'm okay with that, because I have all I need right here.
Tangy Dijon Chicken
(Adapted from Table for Two, originally from Trader Joe's)
2 lbs. boneless chicken thighs
1 c. Dijon mustard
1/2 c. maple syrup
2 T. rice wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
1 scant T. cornstarch
2 T. fresh rosemary, chopped
Heat oven to 450* F. Line a baking dish with 2 layers of tinfoil. (I used by 9x9 in. pan.)
In a small bowl, mix Dijon mustard, maple syrup, vinegar, and salt and pepper. Whisk to blend, and pour half the mixture into a measuring cup and set aside.Reserve the other half for cooking.
Arrange chicken thighs in the pan and lightly season with salt and pepper. Pour half the sauce mixture over the chicken and turn chicken thighs to coat. Bake chicken uncovered for 30-40 minutes, until cooked through.Remove from oven to rest for 5 minutes and transfer to a platter.
When chicken has been removed from the oven, take your 1/2 c. reserved marinade (whisk together if it separated while standing) and whisk in cornstarch. Continue mixing for 1-2 minutes until thickened. (I *think* I poured the sauce into a pan and heated over medium while whisking, but I'm a dope and can't remember.)
When sauce has thickened, stir in rosemary and pour over chicken pieces. Serve immediately.