I personally have never held a dinner party. That said, I’m a diehard fan of Come Dine with Me (the British original as well as the Canadian remake) and my favourite icebreaker question is, “For your last supper, who would you invite and what would you eat?” However, student life doesn’t exactly scream dinner party. I’ve debated starting my own supper club, but busy and regularly changing schedules, finances, and a lack of friends who like cooking anything besides spaghetti and tinned sauce have squashed this dream.
However, I remain firm in my belief that students should have one “fancy” recipe in their back pocket. And “fancy” by no means entails difficult. In fact, if a certain situation arises—like a date with a special someone, a break-up and “I’m sorry” meal with a special someone, or just a plain old “occasion”—the last thing you probably want to do is spend hours crafting a Michelin star–worthy meal. It wasn’t until Magda Walczak, assistant clinic coordinator at the Sports Clinic (in Davis beside the RAWC), shared her lemon chicken recipe that I finally uncovered a student-friendly, dinner party–worthy recipe.
“It was given to me by my mother-in-law and I like it because it’s really simple, but tastes delicious,” she says. “The chicken is moist and the lemon sauce is perfect without any extra seasonings to it.”
I agree completely, having been fed a similar version of this dish by my French host mother over the summer; nothing makes classic chicken better than a spoonful of cream. Follow Walczak’s suggestion to serve it with rice and simple veggies and, by golly, you’ll have a meal that probably outshines half the dishes on Come Dine with Me. Let’s put it this way: whip up a batch of your own “(Not Your Average) Lemon Chicken”, set the table, and call me over. I promise I’m a well-behaved dinner date—even if I do get a bit grouchy after my 8:30 p.m. bedtime.
(Not Your Average) Lemon Chicken
Makes 4 servings
- 4 chicken breasts
- 2 lemons
- 2 cups (500 ml) 35% or whipping cream
1.Dip the chicken breasts in flour and brown in an oiled frying pan over medium-high heat.
2.Squeeze the lemon juice out of the lemons into a bowl, making sure to discard any seeds that may fall in.
3.Add cream (straight from the carton and not whipped!) to lemon juice and mix together.
4.Put chicken in an oven-safe glass dish and pour lemon and cream mixture overtop.
5.Bake at 350 F (180 C) for 45 minutes and serve over rice.