Periscope Depth

if I was Santa Claus, I'd bake up a feast

Abstract: I did what strangers on the Internet told me to do and it paid off.

Document: Last week, meandering through the last Star Market in Watertown, I saw whole chicken breasts on sale for a sweet deal. An experimenting mood struck me, so I bought a couple pounds. I also bought some flavorful mixings from the McCormick aisle. I also bought a cutting board (at Target; separate trip entirely).

I didn’t have time for a real home-cooked meal before last night (which is what I’ve been telling you people). So I stuck the chicken breasts in the fridge to defrost on Sunday evening and took them out to cook on Monday. Anyone who’s cooked with me before knows I have a pathological fear of deviating from instructions, so the clear explanations on the back of the McCormick Bag ‘n Season were a soothing relief:

(1) Sprinkle seasoning over chicken. I cut 2 chicken breasts out of the package, coated them generously with the herbs and spices, and rubbed the seasoning in with the back of a spoon.

(2) Put chicken in bag. The seasoning mix came with a tiny plastic bag that unfolded into an arm’s length cooking tent. I carefully placed the chicken in there, poking a few holes to vent steam. Off the bag’s suggestion, I emptied the rest of the mixings into the floor of the bag.

(3)Cook thirty minutes on 350. Easily done. After a few minutes I stuck some biscuits in there too.

Verdict: god damn, this is delicious! It’s just as tender as I like it, it’s got that good McCormick flavor and it was remarkably easy to make. I ate one chicken breast with the aforementioned biscuits and wrapped another one for lunch leftovers.

Any Downside? About forty-five minutes later I heard a clattering sound from the kitchen. My roommate and I arrived at about the same time. My roommate’s cat had darted into one of his usual hiding spots – the chair at the kitchen table. The cutting board had vanished.

“Where is it?” I asked.

“The cat must have knocked it down,” Lauren said.

“Yes, but where is it?” I asked. “He can’t have … disintegrated it.”

I looked under the chairs and behind the trash can. I looked inside his cubbyhole and peeked into the living room. I even opened the cupboards and the dishwasher, on the off chance that one of them had been open far enough for him to knock a large Formica board in there and then accidentally shut it. No dice.

I went back to my room but the mystery continued to plague me. Going back into the kitchen one more time, I got down on my knees and realized that the stove wasn’t quite flush with the floor (space for the pilot light, maybe). Voila.

Other than that, the meal went off without a hitch.