Last night for dinner we had what my husband affectionately calls Salmonella Chicken. My grandma cringes whenever she hears that name, because it was her recipe originally. To her, it is Company Chicken, a delicious dish reserved for visitors. It is actually one of M.D.’s favorite meals, and he came up with the name out of love. The story is quite embarrassing for me, but of course whenever he talks about how much he loves Salmonella Chicken, people give us weird looks and we have to explain.
M.D. and I first started dating in college, and I lived in a dorm for my first two years (the first as a resident, the second as an RA). After months of eating out or ordering in for every meal, I decided that I was going to cook a really nice dinner for my boyfriend. I had a fridge/freezer in my dorm room, and there was a communal kitchen with a stove and oven. The day M.D. was coming into town to visit, I left a piece of frozen chicken in the fridge to defrost, and then when M.D. arrived that night I got the dish together and put it in the oven.
Well, I hadn’t had much experience with frozen chicken up at that point, and I didn’t realize that even if the outside is thawed, the inside might still be frozen. Very frozen. 45 minutes later, I pulled our amazing smelling dinner out of the oven and served it up to M.D. When he cut into it, he looked at the chicken, then up at me, and then back at the chicken. “Babe”, he said, “the chicken is still pink”. He wasn’t kidding – it didn’t look like it had been cooked for 5 minutes, let alone 45.
I was absolutely mortified. The first meal I ever made for him, the “perfect” evening I had planned, was ruined because I didn’t completely thaw the chicken. Thankfully he took it in stride, and we microwaved the heck out of the chicken until it was edible. It still tasted pretty good, but I can’t say that I loved the texture.
M.D. teased me for a long time over that, and whenever the story comes up around other people I still turn a little red. I’ve learned to live with it though, and M.D. now thinks I’m a pretty good cook. Thank goodness, because he’s stuck with me 🙂
“Salmonella” Chicken Recipe:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (preferably thawed)
1 can of cream of chicken soup
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place the chicken in an oven-safe dish. Place slices of swiss cheese over the chicken, covering all of it. Pour cream of chicken over the chicken and cheese, making sure all parts of the chicken are covered. Fill soup can with milk and pour on top of the chicken. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over the entire dish. Bake for 45 minutes, making sure breadcrumbs are browned. Serve over rice. Enjoy!