Food for Licking the Wounds:Chicken Francais

November 13, 2016




I woke up this past Wednesday wanting nothing better than to stay in bed, day-drink, eat ALL of the carbs and make out with the dog all afternoon. For the next four years, actually.

I know I’m not alone.

I also had to send my beautiful, kind, artistic, bi-racial daughter off to high school–a school where some crummy, Neanderthal boys feel perfectly free to refer to her as “The Terrorist” in the hallways. They feel comfortable doing so, and they do.


YA_0023              ^^^not a “Terrorist.”



As we pulled up to school, a pickup truck with an enormous Trump banner roared into the parking lot.

“Jesus,” Miss D. muttered under her breath. “Today is going to suck.”

I reached over and squeezed her knee. “Yeah, it is gonna suck,” I said. “I’m so sorry about that. Let’s just try to get through the day, okay?”

We manged, but we didn’t want to.

I had to get out of bed, and she had to go to school, and I had to do responsible adult things like grocery shop and fold laundry and drive my daughter to the orthodontist, even though I felt like Alice when she tumbled down the rabbit hole. The Cheshire Cat was right: We’re all MAD here.

Still, somehow, the Earth managed to spin on its axis and there were still 24 hours in the day and I had to find a way to be civil to other human beings, even ones I didn’t feel like being civil to at all.

I had to be civil to my own husband, who wasn’t pleased with the election results but was able to maintain his sanity and retain a positive outlook on the future of this nation…and this somehow made me furious with him. Didn’t he know that I needed someone to fume and be sulky with? I did not want to hear anything even resembling rational.

The nerve of that man.

My wounds are still raw, and no amount of licking them has eased the sting. Allowing myself to wallow helped a little. Time is helping–by Friday, I could at least get through most of the day without using copious amounts of Kleenex. I did some rage cleaning, which a friend of mine recommended doing, and at least that was a productive outlet for my feelings. I have been sure to be very, very gentle with myself and my girls. Because being gentle is really important right now.

Our family spent the weekend quietly. In truth, we were all exhausted. The weather was glorious and Miss D. spent hours and hours outside on the swingset, letting the pumping of legs and music on her headphones lull her into some kind of calm. Miss M. brought her Kindle outside and read voraciously, with snacks and a sleepy dog next to her on the chaise lounge. I puttered around in the kitchen but kept peeking outside the window at them, and smiling. They were doing different things, but they still gravitated towards being together, and it made me happy.

On Sunday, Daddy was supposed to come for lunch, but he caught a nasty upper respiratory bug at the tail end of his trip to Cuba and he hasn’t been able to shake it. Luckily, we’ll be spending an entire week with him soon–SUPER soon, in fact. I’d forgotten that Thanksgiving is so early this year–we leave for Hawaii early Friday morning. This week! How did that happen? I’d better buckle down and get in gear, because there’s a lot to do before we leave.

I’m so hoping that the change of scenery will do us good and that the warm sand and the crashing waves of the Pacific will help wash away not just ashes, but troubles as well.

I guess I’d like to ask you readers if you’re doing okay, and if you feel like wounds are beginning to mend at all? I know so many of us are hurting right now. I have been thinking of you and I hope you’re being gentle with yourselves, too.

I made some food this past week and this weekend that was meant to soothe the soul-weary. We needed to feed ourselves well and tuck into dishes both nourishing and warm. I made lots of pancakes and bacon. We snacked on popcorn cooked on the stovetop, slathered in scandalous amounts of butter. I spent an afternoon making gumbo, because gumbo always makes me feel taken care of (actually, most food eaten out of a bowl does this for me). I made spicy Korean barbecue to make me feel awake and alive.

I also made this chicken dish, because this is my husband’s idea of the perfect comfort food. What is it about a chicken dinner that’s so homey and nostalgic? Chicken Francais takes a bit of labor–pounding chicken into thin cutlets, dunking it in a flavorful egg wash and a flour dredge, and whipping up a quick white wine pan sauce to bring the whole thing together. It’s totally worth the extra trouble, though. It demands a comforting side dish like mashed potatoes or rice to soak up the luscious sauce. Also, well worth it.

If you’re still feeling blue, or weary, or in need of spoiling yourself a little, make this Chicken Francais. Pour some wine and toss a nice salad and pretend you’re in Paris, if you like. That’s always what I do.

Above all, spend time with those you love and cherish most. Give lots of big, fat hugs. Nourish each other. Show up for one another.

Fat Hugs, Faith and Courage, Readers. I love you very much.




Chicken Francais

serves 8

slightly adapted from Cooking Light


4 beaten eggs (4 eggs if they are medium-sized, 3 if they are large)

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese or Pecorino-Romano cheese

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/4 cup Pinot Grigio or other dry white wine

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

zest of one lemon

1/4 teaspoon salt

a few dashes hot pepper sauce

3 smashed/minced garlic cloves

8 (4-ounces each) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

salt and pepper

1/2 cup all purpose flour

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

cooking spray

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup Pinot Grigio or other dry white wine

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

fresh parsley and lemon slices to garnish


Combine first nine ingredients in a shallow dish.

Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound with a mallet or rolling pin to 1/4-inch cutlets. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge each cutlet in flour and then in egg mixture.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large non-stick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium flame. Add 4 cutlets to pan and saute about 4 minutes; flip chicken and cook another 3-4 minutes or until done. Keep chicken warm. Wipe out the skillet and repeat procedure with other tablespoon of oil and remaining chicken.

Melt butter in the pan and add 1/4 cup wine and 3 tablespoons lemon juice. Bring to a boil and cook about 10 seconds or until slightly thickened. Pour over chicken and serve immediately.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa @ The Meaning of Me November 13, 2016 at 11:39 pm

Sounds a lot like our week and weekend. And yes chicken dinner! Did ours with slices of potatoes and carrots in a wine bath. It was like a hug. We did a lot of snuggling and reading and watching movies and just hunkering in together. Needed it.
So sorry kids feel they have the right to be so horrid to your daughter. Just such ugly behavior.


ayala November 14, 2016 at 7:49 am

Ditto! It’s be a hell of a week….the harsh reality is sinking in every day. I hope your dad gets better! All I can say is I feel you and I am sending you hugs.


ayala November 14, 2016 at 7:54 am

And as for Miss D….lots and lots of hugs…it’s outrageous and ignorant! Thankfully she has great parents that have taught her that there will always be hateful jerks in the world and you can’t let them get you down. xoxo


Dianne November 15, 2016 at 1:22 am

Sending strength to you and your beautiful girls and your hubby who is your pillow of strength. Sometimes we sit over here on the other side of the world in our Political bubble of fear forgetting that others in other countries have the same fears stemmed from racial hatred and intollerance that we have.
The chicken looks yummy and I have bookmarked it to try one day


Biz November 15, 2016 at 7:26 am

I think your trip is just the thing to get your mind off of things. And that chicken dish is going on my menu! Huge fat hugs back!


Dawn in MI November 20, 2016 at 5:18 am

Thanks for the comfort food. More than a week later I still find myself surprised and shocked and sad and worried. It’s going to be a very long 4 years. Dangerous too if I really think about it. Scary.


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