Valentine’s Day this year is on a Tuesday, a day usually earmarked for leftovers or take-out. No time on a Tuesday for a home cooked gourmet meal expressing your emotions for the one you love, right? Not so fast. I whipped up this V Day dish in about an hour, dirtying only one pan in the process. That’s an easy meal. And it’s jam packed with libido-enhancing foods! What more could a couple ask for?
As you may know, I’ve been on a diet. So the process of coming up with this recipe was somewhat cramped. No chocolate, no bacon, no chocolate covered bacon. I’ve had a desperate craving for chicken and waffles, something I’ve actually never eaten. But, since I don’t have a waffle maker so I decided to go with the next best thing, chicken and French toast.
Let the recipe begin –
For the Chicken Pot Pie
2-3 celery ribs, chopped – Celery contains androsterone, an odorless male hormone that drives women wild.
½ an onion, chopped
A handful of baby carrots, sliced lengthwise
One bunch of asparagus, tips only – Packed with vitamin E, long thought to be a libido enhancer, as well as foliate which is needed for histamine production. (Which is needed for both male and female orgasm… Eat your asparagus.)
1 ½ pounds of skinless chicken breasts cut into chunks
A handful of basil – Basil increases circulation, stimulates the sex drive and boosts fertility. I also just happened to have some in my freezer. Puree fresh basil with olive oil and freeze in ice cube trays for basil benefits anytime!
A clove of garlic, chopped – Garlic contains allicin, a compound that improves blood flow to the sex organs. It also gives you stank breath, but if you both eat it you can stink together.
White wine – I used Sweet Bitch Pinot Grigio (I shit you not) but you can use whatever you like. (Except Chardonnay, it isn’t generally used for cooking. Too strong.)
For the French toast
A slice of whole grain bread – Because I’m on a diet I just happened to have Pepperidge Farm Whole Grain Oatmeal bread in stock, you can use what you like.
A handful of crushed, sliced almonds – Almonds are yet another libido enhancing food. Packed with essential-fatty acids they help regulate the male sex-drive and the scent supposedly drives women wild.
One egg beaten with a spot of milk and a pinch of cardamom – Cardamom is another spice viewed by many cultures to be an aphrodisiac. It also contains cineole, something that increases blood-flow to certain body parts.
Heart shaped cookie cutter
Six sex foods, not counting the wine. This meal is fit for a King and a Queen, or a King and a King, or a Queen and a Queen, or the Speaker of the House, his wife, and his mistress. I don’t judge.
Onto the cooking
Give the chicken chunks a nice coat of olive oil, salt and pepper and throw them in a large non-stick skillet to brown. After a couple minutes flip the chunks over, throw in all the veggies (celery, onion, carrots and asparagus), throw on the lid and lower the heat. You can add some wine at this point, what you’re doing is steaming the veggies and letting the chicken finish cooking. When the onions start to look translucent you can add the garlic and basil. Add a little more wine. Why not? Give the liquid a taste, you may want to add some more salt and pepper. I tend to under-salt my food because my husband always adds more salt anyway. You want to have enough liquid to just about cover everything in your chosen baking dish.
Oh yeah, pre-heat your oven to 350 and line a baking dish with foil for easy clean-up. Don’t use non-stick foil, please. I’ve used it in the past and it gives food an awful metallic flavor. If cancer had a taste I bet that’d be it. Stick with regular foil, or don’t use any. I used it to speed the clean-up process along. You know, it being Valentine’s Day and all.
I turned up the heat and thickened my sauce with cornstarch mixed in water, you can use roux (a 50/50 butter/flour paste) if you’re not watching your calorie intake like me. I tested the veggies just to make sure they were done, the carrots were just passing the point of stiffness and the celery still had a little crunch to it. The asparagus melted in my mouth, a nice combination of textures from the veggies. The basil flavor permeated the dish and it had the feel of comfort. A perfect meal for sharing with the one you love.
Pour it all into the baking dish. Actually, if you have an oven safe pan you can leave it all in there. Use the heart shaped cookie cutter to make little bread hearts. Cut them as close together as you can, I got nine out of one slice of bread. Coat them in the egg mixture and then dip one side of the heart in a plate of crushed almonds. Arrange them on top of the pot pie nut side up and bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes, until the nuts start to color.
Besides pure whimsy, the almond French toast hearts provide a fabulous texture contrast to the stewed veggies. Almost like a deconstructed pesto in its flavor dance with the basil and garlic. Homey, Italianey, yummy. My husband had two servings, that means it was good.
If you or your mate is vegetarian don’t substitute tofu for the chicken. Tofu decreases the libido. You’re better off doubling up on the veggies, including some personal favorites and adding whole almonds for that meaty bite.
Happy Valentine’s Day, folks! After this dinner you’ll know what to have for dessert.