Before you pick up the phone and 411 the number for that glitzy French bistro downtown – pause. It took you ages to move from conversation in a frat basement to getting her number in Bio Lab, and you want to make a solid impression for your first date. Sure, reaching for that dinner bill is a classic move, but don’t you want to do more?
Well, lucky for you, I’m here to act as your first date Fairy Godmother. Granted, I can’t bippity-boppity-boop you a pumpkin carriage, but I can give you a hint that will ensure the crucial “we should do this again sometime” at the end of the evening.
Here it is, the greatest tidbit you’ll get. Make her a home cooked meal. I know what you’re thinking: “Isn’t that awkward for a first date?” No, gentlemen. No it is not. It’s a telltale sign that you’re genuinely interested in this woman, that you want to get to know her, and that you care enough about making an impression that you’re willing to risk burning down your house for the sake of making Mom’s spaghetti and meatballs. (Side note: Messy red sauce is a big N-O)
Concern number two that I’m sure you have: “What on God’s green Earth am I supposed to make?” Well, luckily for you, we also have that covered. Follow this suggested recipe to impress without stress. While you’re at it remove your bros’ Natty cans from the living room, make sure the toilet seat is down and invest in wine that is not from a box. Keep calm, my friend, because this is how you’ll win that lovely lady’s heart.
Baked Chicken with Roasted Red Peppers
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20-30 minutes
Total Time: About 45 minutes
3 large chicken breasts (1.8 lb package)
One 12 oz (340 grams) jar roasted red peppers
1/2 cup (118 ml) orange juice
1/4 cup (59 ml) lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic (about 1 clove garlic)
10-15 fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons (28 grams) butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Heat oven to 350°F.
2. Slice chicken breasts on an angle into 1-in. slices.
3. Cut peppers into pieces about the size of the basil leaves
4. Combine orange juice and lemon juice in a measuring cup or bowl.
5. Scatter minced garlic clove in the bottom of a 9×9 in. square baking dish.
6. Pour half of the orange-lemon juice mixture over garlic.
7. Starting in one corner of the baking dish, alternate chicken slices with pieces of roasted red pepper and basil leaves (think Italian flag).
8.Season chicken with salt and pepper and pour remaining juice mixture on top.
9. Cut butter into small squares, scatter over chicken.
10. Bake 20-30 minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked (no longer pink in the middle).
Pair this recipe with some rice or mashed potatoes. Heck, even some crusty bread would be fab for soaking up the sauce. Add an easy-peesy veggie side like these green beans and you are good to go. Happy first date, my friend. Bippity-boppity-boop.