Now. Like most of the eastern seaboard, I've spent the past few days being pretty preoccupied with hurricane talk. I live in one of the states that doesn't get eleventy billion hurricanes a year, and I get panicky during a mild thunderstorm, so I basically spent the weekend debating whether it would be better to set up a basement bunker, or flee to Pittsburgh.
My husband was decidedly unsupportive of the Pittsburgh idea, so I opted for the basement bunker. Our basement is "under renovation" at the moment, which is a nice way of saying it's a giant dirty craphole that I won't even walk in barefoot, let alone sleep in. So I packed up the boys and set up camp in my sister's basement, which has wall-to-wall carpet and two TV's. She was delighted to have our company. I'm sure of it.
Once I had set up camp in what I deemed the safest corner of her basement (namely, the corner that was farthest from her treadmill, which I was sure would become a 200-pound projectile), I put my hurricane safety plan into action:
1) Watch Adam Joseph for 14 hours straight.
2) Shit my pants every time he says "tornado warning."
3) Text friends in North Carolina for expert survival tips.
4) Eat donuts at a possible-last-meal pace.
My plan worked, and by sheer luck, our county was hit by the nicest, gentlest part of the hurricane. The tornado warnings didn't pan out, and my sister's makeshift shelter didn't even lose power. We lost power at home, but only for 15 hours. Our only "damage" was some freezer-burned ice cream.
Suffice to say we were lucky.
Anyway. Inspired by a spray-painted plywood sign at a local bar that said "We'd rather drink hurricanes," I came up with a chicken dish based on the rum drink. I was worried it would be too sugary-sweet, but it was so fantastic that I kept asking my hubby, "ISN'T THIS FANTASTIC?!" I probably asked him 17 times. I'm not ashamed to fish for compliments. And he declared it the best thing I've made in months.
So. Here's the recipe.
- 1-2 lb. chicken breast
- 1/2 cup cherry preserves
- 1/4 cup pineapple syrup (this is not a fancy ingredient...just buy pineapple slices that say they're packed in heavy syrup)
- 4 pineapple rings, cut up
- 1 Tbsp. garlic
- 1 Tbsp. cumin
- 1 Tbsp. Malibu rum
- 1/2 cup almonds, chopped up
Cut the chicken into cubes. Mix everything but the almonds in a ziploc bag and add the chicken. Marinate it for however long you want -- I did about three hours. Then skewer the chicken cubes, roll them in the almonds, and bake them at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. (I rest the ends of the skewers across a casserole dish, so the chicken juice can drip into the dish.)
It takes about five minutes to prepare, you can ignore it while it's cooking, and it makes you look like you know how to cook Caribbean cuisine.
DISCLAIMER: On a serious note, there were a lot of towns around us that weren't nearly as lucky in this storm. And that's an understatement. I'm NOT making light of that -- this dish is based on the beverage, not the weather event. If you want to help those affected by the weather event, go here and give the Red Cross some love.