Thursday, November 5, 2009
My Venture into Klingon Space
Anybody who knows me knows three things about me: 1) I love to eat, 2) I love developing new recipes, and 3) I love Star Trek. I'm not insane about my love for Star Trek. Yes, I've gone to a few conventions but rarely dressed up as Spock. Yes, I've seen every episode…multiple times…and every movie…multiple times….and own all of the DVDs – but I'm not one of those nerdy guys who can quote lines from all of the episodes. My love for Star Trek is complex but well grounded. This leads me to my story about Klingon Chicken.
A few years ago, I went to Vegas JUST to see the Star Trek Experience at the Las Vegas Hilton. The Star Trek Experience is now closed so don't go rushing off to Vegas cuz' that starship has already done sailed – and I'm still really bitter about that. Anyway, when I was there, I ate lunch at Quark's – the café inside the Star Trek Experience. While eating my bowl of Qagh (the best Qagh outside of the Klingon Empire, I might add) and taking sips of Romulan ale, I overheard two guys talking at the table next to mine. At first, I thought they were international visitors because they were speaking another language. Their strange-sounding language was very guttural. In fact, it was so guttural, at first I thought they were trying to cough up fur balls or something. After a couple minutes of listening to their angered grunts, clicks, and throat-clearing hocking, I realized they were speaking…Klingon. Yes. Klingon. A completely made-up language for a television show. Oh, I can see their resumes now. Under the "Special Skills" section, they could write "Fluent in Klingon" and then just wait for the job offers to come flying in. I mean, what are they planning to do with this particular skill set? Work in Customer Service for a company that has an automated telephone system that tells callers to Press 1 for English, 2 for Spanish, and 3 for KLINGON?! Geez. I mean, how many Klingons do they think live on this planet when everybody knows their home world is, like, light years away from Federation space? I couldn't help but sneak a peek at them from time to time as they animatedly chatted with each other. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed they were sharing a plate of chicken strips with an orangish coating. I wasn't sure what it was but it looked pretty darn good.
Anyway, after I finished eating, I went and stood in the line for my particular show time. I could barely contain myself because I had read so many rave reviews about the Star Trek Experience. Even though I was in public, I tried to subtly floss my teeth because that Qagh was just stuck everywhere and it was driving me nuts. As I was flossing, I heard the unmistakable guttural sounds of a high-pitched voice speaking Klingon from somewhere back in line. I thought, "Oh, geez. Is everybody in this line a freak except me?" I turned and it was those two guys who were seated next to me in the café. Great. I was about to share my Star Trek Experience with two guys speaking Klingon, a woman with three teeth, and a guy who kept angrily smacking his fake tricorder because the batteries had run down. ...and I was worried about flossing my teeth in public.
A guide then lead us inside and I was so excited about being able to experience the show with clean teeth. We walked through the corridors of the Enterprise D and then got onto a turbolift to go to another deck. Suddenly and without warning, the Enterprise came under attack and the only thing I could think of was, "Oh, PLEASE let me fire the phasers!" They wouldn't let me. Stupid jerks.
Anyway, since the Enterprise was under attack, we were ushered into a shuttle craft to escape the fake battle. The special effects were AMAZING. The shuttle craft must have been sitting on hydraulics that allowed it to pivot up and down, left and right. The large windshield in front was displaying what we would have really been seeing had we been in space with enemy ships firing at us. Everything was perfectly choreographed because, each time the shuttle craft was hit by a photon torpedo, you would hear the detonation and ship would violently rock back and forth. Cool stuff.
I was starting to get motion sickness from all of the movement aboard the shuttle craft. I noticed that one of the guys I sat next to at lunch was beginning to look a little green and he had his hand covering his mouth. I no sooner had thought "Oh, that guy looks like he's going to b…" and then he did. All over the place. I'll spare you the details but, rest assured, it was disgusting. It looked like he emptied the inner recesses of his soul all over the back of the toothless woman's seat. Curses!!! That stupid Klingon RUINED my Star Trek Experience!
So what does this have to do with my Klingon Chicken? You might have seen my recent post for Nacho Cheesy Chili. I had some Doritos leftover from that. I also had some Ranch Dip Mix that had been sitting in my pantry screaming to be used and some chicken breasts in my freezer that I wanted to use up. What on earth could I do with all of this food? I smell a new recipe!!! So, after fooling around with the ingredients, I came up with this concoction. After it came out of the oven, I thought "Hey! This looks just like the chicken those Klingon guys were eating when I was Las Vegas a few years ago." And that's how Klingon Chicken came to be.
This chicken is really good and painfully easy to make. Enjoy – and qaPLAH!
* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 tsp Ranch Dip Mix from a 1 oz packet
Pepper to taste
3 egg whites, beaten
1 cup finely crushed nacho-flavored tortillas chips (such as Doritos)
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (grated finely)
1 1/2 tsp Ranch Dip Mix
Pepper to taste
Oil or cooking spray
Prepared Ranch Dressing (Regular or Spicy)
Preheat oven to 350F.
Use paper towels to pat the chicken breasts dry. They must be very dry in order for the coating to adhere properly. Sprinkle each chicken breast evenly with one teaspoon of ranch dip mix (1/2 teaspoon on each side) and a little pepper. Set aside while you prepare the other ingredients.
Lightly beat the egg whites and set aside. In order to make 1 cup of finely crushed Doritos, grab a small handful of Doritos and lightly crush them in your hand so that they lay properly in a measuring cup. Repeat. You will need 3 cups of roughly crushed Doritos. Add the 3 cups of roughly crushed Doritos to a resealable bag and use a rolling pin to finely crush them. When you're done, you'll have about 1 cup of finely crushed tortilla chips. Add the crushed chips to a flat container that has sides. Add the parmesan cheese, some pepper, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of Ranch Dip Mix. Use your hands to mix the coating ingredients together. Use any leftover dip mix for another purpose.
Dip a chicken breast in the egg whites and then into the crushed chip mixture and press to firmly coat the chicken breast. Place the coated chicken breast onto a sheet pan spritzed with a little oil. Repeat with the other chicken breasts. Lightly spray the tops of the chicken breasts with oil or cooking spray. Bake 28 to 30 minutes or until the juices run clear. Serve with some prepared Ranch Dressing.
Posted by Cooking Ventures at 9:42 PM