Married twenty-seven years and finding alone-time for romantic dinners with my husband are few and rare. But when the timing is just right and we finally find ourselves alone, every single moment is cherished as a precious find. And the question then is always what shall we cook?!
Monday, August 31st; our children will be back to school and work—coming home late—and early Saturday morning, excited like little children left home alone to themselves, my husband and I begin to talk and make plans as to what we will have for our romantic dinner. No need to concern ourselves as to whether or not they will like what we cook. Usually I like to please my children, making dishes I know they like, but too often they aren’t in the mood for eating what my husband and I are craving. So I figure, they can always eat our leftovers (since I always cook more than plenty), or fend for themselves!
Saturday morning; I take a package of thighs from the freezer and put them on a plate in the fridge. Sunday evening, I take my defrosted chicken from the fridge and begin to gather and assemble for my marinade. Once everything is in the bowl, I put my marinating chicken back in the fridge until tomorrow, Monday, when we have decided that Bob will bone the thighs and cook them Butterflied.
On Monday he grills the chicken in the same way he would a steak—charcoal in the center and a very hot fire (cooked for about 4–5 minutes each side)—and with the lid on. We ate this wonderful, juicy, and tender chicken with a creamy, cream cheese polenta (my own recipe) and (fresh from our garden) green zebra and granny smith tomatoes. Our wine of choice was a bottle of Nickel & Nickel Chardonnay. Heaven!
During our small window of time alone, we enjoyed each other’s company with good talk—planning for our future, our retirement and places we would like to go and foods we would like to eat. In our many years of marriage, we’ve never had a real vacation; we’ve been busy taking care of our own. But tonight, we enjoyed good food, great wine, and played a game of Cribbage. And I won!
Grilled Butterflied/Buttermilk Thighs
Ingredients for marinating overnight:
1. In a glass of stainless steel bowl put all ingredients and mix well. Cover with plastic and refrigerate overnight.
Chicken thighs (with skin preferred): about eight [meaty and boned]
1 quart buttermilk
A good splash of cream sherry
A good dash of onion powder
A good dash of garlic powder
Italian seasonings (fresh is better)
A good amount of salt (won’t need to salt later)
A hefty couple of pinches of ground cinnamon
Ground chipotle or cayenne or red chili flakes (optional)
2. Day of grilling: Start the fire, take the chicken out of the fridge and transfer to a colander in the sink. With paper-towel pat dry pieces of chicken before grilling.
Note: Serve with rice, polenta, potatoes, or a salad.