Saturday, February 21, 2009

Character building

Yours truly, exhausted from today's run, but still looking sharp in my snazzy new running jacket!

You know how whenever you complete a difficult task (generally an unpleasant one) and people will say to you, "It builds character"? That perfectly describes this morning's run.

My neighborhood received between 3 and 4 inches of snow overnight. Everything is pretty and white again, so we have returned to winter.

I went for my run, and of course nothing was plowed. Not that I would expect this so early in the day, as the park trails are generally cleared within a day of a snowfall. But none of the residential streets were plowed, either.

Each step was kind of like plowing snow. I encountered no other people, and I broke trail in the fresh snow for most of the route. Needless to say, the run was very, very slow, yet it had to be a good calorie burner.

I made it 7 miles, but it felt like twice that. When I returned, I had clumps of snow still clinging to my pants at the cuff, and my socks were completely soaked. As I said, it was a tough run!

There is good news, however. My cold is improving, and this is the best I have felt since Monday. And, as seen above, I got a sweet new running jacket to replace the one I destroyed. My running store, Start Line, had a blowout sale on their winter gear, so I picked up this Brooks jacket. Aside from the fact that it was marked down from $85 to $42.50, the best part is that it is orange, one of my favorite colors!

And how to reward yourself after a hard run? Why, with oven fried chicken, of course!

Buttermilk-marinated oven fried chicken

Last night I marinated a few chicken pieces in a mixture of buttermilk, fresh thyme and rosemary, several cloves of crushed garlic, and a healthy dose of hot sauce. Today, I removed the chicken from the marinade, seasoned it with a homemade paprika-based poultry seasoning, and dredges the chicken in a mixture of flour and fine breadcrumbs. Right before baking, I spray the chicken with cooking spray (it aids in the browning). I baked it in the oven at 350 degrees until a pretty crust is formed, and an instant read meat thermometer registered at 165 degrees (close to an hour.

Good stuff! The meat stays nice and juicy, you get a tasty, flavorful crust, and you can really taste the tangy results of the buttermilk soak. Mmmmm, that's good oven fried chicken...

Until next time,

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