Last night was a very bad night, and today would have been a very bad day indeed. Except for:
Eric plying me with a bagel.
Sarah taking me out for lunch, conversation, and Ethiopian Chai
"Say Hey" by Spearhead
Chicken and Leeks.
Preheat the oven to 450.
Take some leeks (I had 4.) Peel the stiffest outer green leaves off, trim the nasty-looking ends, slit the remaining leek down the middle, and wash all the sand out. There will be a lot of sand. I'm serious. Once they seem clean, keep running water over them for another minute. Lay the leeks in a baking dish with some sort of liquid nearly covering them - I used vegetable broth and leftover chardonnay. Stick them in the oven.
Heat up an frying pan on the stovetop. Once it's hot, coat it with olive oil and introduce 2 split chicken breasts (wait - would that be 2 breasts, or one breast which has been split? I don't know - 2 pieces. Whatever they were on the chicken, now they're 2 pieces of meat, I think we can all agree on that.) Anyway, drop those in skin-side down, and cook for 5 minutes. Throw some salt and pepper on them. Turn them over at the end of 5 minutes, and cook about 4 minutes more. (This is the side that will curve away from the pan, so it won't seem like much is happening, but it is.)
At the end of that 4 minutes, remove the pan from the heat. Take the chicken, open the oven, and lay the chicken on top of the leeks. Now lay a piece of foil over it all - you won't be able to seal it on, what with the hot pan and the oven mitts and the kid singing and the cats underfoot and whatever. So just cover it to the best of your ability, shrug, and close the oven.
It'll be done in about 10 minutes, when the chickens' juices run clear when you stab them. Don't overcook breast meat, for heaven's sake. Use a thermometer if you're jumpy - 160 degrees.
If you're an overachiever, you can go back to the greasy, partially-cooled frying pan, warm it back up, and saute some garlic in there. When the garlic starts to get golden, add the juice from the leek pan, and reduce that for a while, whisk in a tiny bit of butter and pass it like gravy.
(If any garlic turns black, throw it all out. No pan sauce for you today, sorry. Tiny amounts of burned garlic ruin everything they come near.)