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Turn ho-hum chicken into a showstopper with Pablo Chicken and Carrots

There is beauty everywhere if you train your heart to search for it. It sounds so cliche. I thought that and rebelled a little as I rolled my eyes while I mulled over the sentiment. Sometimes the only muscles in my body that get worked in a day are my eyes, the gull is just that deep.

Too much of this and it compels to me to regroup and invite a different perspective into my thoughts.

It slowly occurred to me, after the onset of a few eye rolls, that cliche statements earned their title for the simple truth birthing the words to describe the thought. It can be simple or profound, and I’ve learned from experience simple usually is profound to the unlearned. I’ve always said, “The truth is still the truth no matter who or what is revealing it!” I reached that little nugget of “true dat” when I was being rebuked by the pot who was calling the kettle black.

The snow, so early and unexpected in the season, was beautiful. The “winter wonderland blanket of snow” blessed our grounds and made it feel all “Christmasy.” I look for beauty markers in every season as I prefer warmer, sunnier climates. I do this, as well, in the “seasons of life.”

I wish I had a nickel for every time I’ve uttered the words “it’s only a season,” to myself and to my family. It promises change and the hope that better times lie ahead. No matter how cliche and un-comforting it feels to hear something so trite, it’s the truth. “This too shall pass!”

“Time stops for no one,” therefore, the only resolve I can conclude is to find the silver lining in every situation or “season.” Here I am staring at the snow, lovely in its pure whiteness, I remember the snows of my childhood and wishing Santa would show himself, reindeers and all.

Chicken is one of the hardest meats to make a wow statement. It’s nearly impossible to present a menu and expect it to be impressive if the main course says, “Chicken.” But this is the exception and it’s baked, which is normally a “snooze fest” in terms of cooking methods for protein. Even more alarming, I ate the entire chicken breast. It was that delicious.

Pablo Chicken and Carrots

2 chicken breasts

3 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch sections

3 T. olive oil

2 T. sour cream

1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. oregano

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

On one side of a baking sheet, place the carrots and drizzle with 1 T. olive oil.

Bake in a 400-degree oven on the rack placed high for 15 minutes.

While that is roasting, in a bowl mix the crumbs, salt, remaining oil, oregano, onion and garlic powder and cheese.

Coat the breast with 1 T. Sour cream each.

Roll the coated side of the chicken in the bread crumb mixture and place the breasts on the same baking sheet as the carrots.

Place this back in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

Janet McCormick is the author of “10-Minute Meals” and owner of Let’s Eat in Huntington. She lives in Lawrence County, Ohio. She can be reached at 304-654-2003 or www.10-minutemeals.com.