Saturday, March 15, 2014

Plated 1st attempt - Disgrossting

Let me start off by saying that this post will surprise no one that has ever lived with me. Particularly my brother-in-law who once saw me light a tea towel on fire while attempting to make dinner. It wasn't a symbolic towel fire either ("Quit oppressing  women - Cook your own dinner!"). Nope, that's just the way I roll.
Oh so innocent
Despite this, when my husband went to Vegas for the PAC 12 tournament, I invited my friend Edie over for a girl date with homemade Chicken Fricasse a la Plated. I suffered temporary amnesia and in the words of Bridget Jones, I had a "sneaking also something of a genius in the kitchen." I have been watching a lot of the cooking channel lately, so obviously I must be pretty good. Unfortunately, the similarities to dear old Bridge didn't end there. I might not have made blue soup, but I did end up with purple gnocchi.
Psych! This is what it's supposed to look like.
I had been intrigued with the idiot-proof recipe service called Plated since I first saw it on Facebook a month ago. One coupon code later and I was prepping my kitchen for an explosion of culinary genius. Apparently I should sue for false advertising; Plated was no match for this idiot.

I selected two chef created gourmet meals from the weekly menus. Recipe cards and all the pre-measured ingredients were delivered to my door in refrigerated packing. There were illustrations, cooking tips and detailed instructions. ALL I HAD TO DO WAS FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS!
This is as good as it gets
I started out brilliantly with some stellar knife skills. Seriously, that dill and onion didn't see me coming.
Stand back, the professionals are working
Once the chicken was cooking on the stovetop, I carefully set the timer because I knew how easily distracted I get. About this time Edie showed up, but I still stayed on top of my game. At exactly the right time I removed the chicken. And it was black. Completely. 
Evil, evil chicken
Believe it or not, it was downhill from there. I got the sauce for the gnocchi boiling and added the chicken back in, per the fail-safe instructions. I quickly realized I had the wrong type of pan, and swapped it out for one with a lid (why didn't they mention that up front?? Oh, wait...). I carefully watched the clock to make sure I didn't miss the 20 minute mark. Had I thought to actually watch the chicken I might have noticed the sauce completely boiling away. At that point I probably would have double-checked the recipe card and seen that sneaky little line "reduce to medium-low" and might have been able to save dinner. Maybe.
Maybe Plated will hire me to write the beautifully illustrated "Opposite Day" instructions
I now had to re-create the sauce, but had no chicken base, onion or white wine left. Using skills newly aquired from watching 100 episodes of Chopped, I improvised. 
White wine, red wine, what's the diff?
Charred Chicken with Purple Gnocchi would have been a more accurate name for the meal. I'm tempted to write a letter. 

I refused to admit defeat and let my guest go hungry, especially since she patiently held my son during an epic meltdown while I tried to save dinner. She insisted (Profusely profusely insisted. A lot.) that she was fine, but I went ahead and assembled dinner so we could enjoy our gourmet meal.
End result looks pretty good to me
I do realize that publicly sharing this means I will never hear the end of it, but I actually think this service is pretty awesome. For anybody in the entire world except me.

Even though Edie probably won't agree, part of me still thinks I'm secretly an amazing cook who just hasn't found her stride yet. Luckily I still have Plated meatloaf to make for my husband when he gets back. After a week in Vegas, he deserves it. ;)

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