And also, my BFF Jonathan’s birthday!
The Music Man gave me unrealistic expectations for how frequently I would need to thwart a devious plot contrived by a man who sells anvils. I have legitimately never met a man who sells anvils.
Back in 2005, it was my turn to be married to Jonathan when we were part of The Music Man. The most honestly meaningful part of the show was how, after in the first act Harold Hill told Jonathan-as-the-Mayor that he would be waiting in line to shake hands with the kid from the wrong side of the tracks, Tommy Djilas: at the very end of the show, after all the kids proved there WAS a band after all, the Mayor walked up to Tommy Djilas and extended a hand. And they shook hands. That was the best part of Jonathan’s character in The Music Man, how the Mayor was humble enough to know he’d been wrong about someone and to learn to give them a second chance.
There are a lot of politicians who could do to learn that lesson here in 2019.
Almost every girl we both knew had a crush on Jonathan between about 2004 and 2008. There weren’t that many boys in theatre, and he was super-nice and always had a flattering haircut, so I guess that was why. But c’mon, gross!! We’ve been on about a million friend-dates, some of which I’m confident other people thought we were legit dating during. And I’ve never been remotely tempted to kiss him, because it would be just as weird and unnecessary as kissing my sister Laura. God. Friendship sounds like SUCH a better idea for SO many reasons.
I think a lot of people near the beginning of adulthood start to feel like dating is more important than friendship, and I disagree with that because dating is a means to an end (Marriage? Co-parenting?), while friendship is already itself. Do you see what I mean? I already get to be friends with Jonathan and that’s already enough!!!
And after two decades of friendship, I know a lot of fun facts about Jonathan, like that he’s secretly a really good cook and especially good at following recipes and having them come out right. So I’m sharing this recipe for Jonathan’s birthday this year – which is today – because I’m pretty sure he’s never made this one.
Maybe he can make it when he comes to visit us, and I’ll make a cake, and we’ll let Laura continue to save us from men who sell anvils.
Parmesan Breaded Chicken
You will need…
2 lbs chicken breast tenders or thinly-sliced breast pieces
olive oil for coating, plus more for cooking
bit of butter for cooking
approx 1/2 cup freshly-grated parmesan cheese
approx 3/4 cup breadcrumbs (recommended: Whole Foods house brand)
1 piece of garlic, smashed and peeled
juice of approx 1/2 of a lemon
To make the chicken:
Clean skin and tendons, as needed, from chicken. Cut each piece in half. Drizzle a plate with olive oil and put the chicken pieces on top, then coat each piece in the oil.
Prepare a plate with the breadcrumbs and parmesan mixed together.
In your largest pan, add olive oil, butter, and garlic over medium to medium-high heat.
Once the garlic starts to sizzle loudly, discard it. Now begin to bread the chicken. Dip both sides of each chicken piece in the breadcrumb mixture, then put directly in the pan.
Cook chicken until golden-brown on one side, then flip and cook until golden-brown on the other side. Add a couple squeezes of lemon juice and continue to cook over medium for a minute, then reduce heat to low and cook approx 5 minutes more to ensure pieces are cooked through.