13 February 2011

I'm using the big knife, right?

The end result

Last Sunday was a day in history, for our family.

Son and heir (12 yrs old) has always been interested in helping out in the kitchen and now we have moved to a property with a bigger kitchen, has been able to do so.  Not only that, but he has been doing Catering classes at his school.  He had reached the dizzying heights of producing his first meal – which he enjoyed doing and which was a success, by all accounts.  However, they weren’t allowed to put the resultant meal in the fridge for the remainder of the day and, by the time it had spent a day sweating in his school bag (in an airtight container), it was somewhat worse for wear.

Concentrating hard, peeling carrots

I did manage to have a taste of a corner of the chicken and I could tell it had the potential to be a very nice dish.

So, we suggested to son that he might like to reproduce his meal for Sunday dinner – with hubby to act as his sous chef.  His eyes lit up at the idea and once he'd checked that he would indeed get to use the "big knife", we were on!

The meal in question was garlic butter stuffed, bacon wrapped chicken breasts, with crushed new potatoes, carrots, broccoli and peas – with gravy.

Sous chef cracked the whip early on in the day, getting son organised with making the garlic butter.

Using the "big knife" - carefully!
They then had a planning meeting, where they discussed timings and how long everything would take to prepare and cook.  Having got their schedule all sorted in their heads, they dispersed until the allotted hour.

I was made aware that the cooking had begun, by the rustlings of the carrot bag, the rasp of the big knife against its steel and the twang of saucepans hitting the cooker top.

They began by prepping the carrots, which meant a quick lesson in using our peeler.  It’s different to the peelers at school and somewhat temperamental.

Getting the bacon ready
From there, it was on to the chicken.  Using the big knife, he made the incisions required for the stuffing, then carefully wrapped the whole lot with the bacon and placed it on the roasting tray and into the oven.

Stuffing the chicken
Then, after putting the carrots in to boil, it was on to prepping the new potatoes and chopping up some broccoli.

Everything went according to plan and nobody lost any fingers (thank goodness).

From what I could gather, the whole process was carried out with meticulous care and attention to detail.  I did hear Chef reclaim a task from his Sous, by saying “Dad, shouldn’t I be doing that?” from which I gather that he did indeed, do the majority of the preparation and cooking himself.

Everything's ready for the off
The end result was not only delicious – the garlic butter chicken being moist and hearty with the lovely bacon adding to the flavours – but was cooked perfectly.  The only criticism we had was that the broccoli was a teensy bit overcooked, but knowing how difficult it is to not overcook broccoli, it was a tiny criticism.  The new potatoes were cooked beautifully and when crushed, had had a little melted butter drizzled over them.

It was a triumph – and he was justifiably pleased with himself, however, I’ll wager he was nowhere near as proud of himself as we were of him.



  1. Lovely....Lovely.....Lovely.....! :)
    Lovely to read....Lovely to see....!
    As l always say...And...it's my trilogy in life......
    Love Food...Love Cats...Love Pink...!
    This has certainly taken me back, the only thing miss'in for me, is Mt. Etna, erupting in the back ground.
    And, you can certainly feel the enthusiasm, behind every word.....Lovely...!
    (And yes, Lovely is my most favorite word) when l use it about anything...l mean it....! :)
    Straight from the heart..!
    Once again, well done to the son and heir....!
    Gold Star me thinks..............

  2. He certainly did a stellar job on dinner, Willie. It took me back to learning how to cook with my Mum, too. I can remember cooking at school - although I can remember the disasters better than the successes! For instance, the Greek Lemon Soup which was truly disgusting and the Gingerbread that exploded all over the school oven! LOL

  3. Sounds like your son did a great job - the first of many hopefully ;-)

  4. Choclette : that's exactly what I thought. LOL

    Lozzie : Isn't it? I'm so glad he's taking an interest in food from an early age. So much better than flying the nest and finding himself unprepared. :)


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