Parent tip: Fade the radio to the back and crank it while you’re driving the carpool around town. They’ll have to shout to hear each other, and forget you’re even in the car. You can hear all of the gossip.
I don’t know if you know anything about a car full of fifth graders, but let me tell you, it is a wild ride. Listening to your kid talk to other kids is both hilarious and supremely annoying. Kid, you’re 11. You are not that cool.
But I get it. When you’re in those in-between preteen years, you just want to be thought of as older, wiser, better. I know because while I may be Ms. Laid-Back-Mom today, I was the prissiest, most high-maintenance, know-it-all preteen there was. I had the highest GWAM in the class (and made sure everyone knew it). I wore my hair twisted into tightest bun possible, ironed my flared jeans with a sharp crease. Oh and I would correct your grammar to your face. I was, in fact, the worst.
My prissiness extended to my food preferences. I didn’t eat “kid food” like peanut butter or pancakes. If it were up to me, every meal would be eaten at Macaroni Grill, the ultimate in everyday fancy. I could order from a menu of my favorites like fried calamari, baby spinach salad with sundried tomatoes and kalamata olives, or farfalle swimming in an asiago cream sauce. I could practice my signature on the paper tablecloths and learn Italian from the recordings when I went to the bathroom. Basically, what I thought was so ~grown up~ was really just peak 90s.
But now that I am actually grown up, here is what I know about fancy: it is extremely easy to fake it.
Which brings us (finally) to this chicken with burrata, leeks, and breadcrumbs. We’re taking a cue from 1998 and faking it til we make it. This simple one-pan chicken dinner is gussied up with a few faux-fancy friends and invited to the extremely sophisticated party in your belly.
You know how you have that one old Target maxi dress you can throw on and people will be like, “OooOOOooooH you’re so fancy!” and you’re like, “I literally just threw this on it is one piece I did nothing.” That is burrata. If you serve people burrata they will freak out and you will win with zero work on your part other than just buying the thing.
Burrata is essentially a ball of fresh mozzarella filled with cream. When you cut into it, it’s lush insides ooze out without needing to be melted first. It is perfect as-is. But I cannot just post “plate burrata” as a recipe (even though that’s what restaurants do for $15???). And we should probably eat more than just cheese for dinner. (Thought I have 100% texted my friend “just ate a ball of burrata dinner” more than once.)
And so we’ll blanket it across chicken breasts and snuggle it up with some butter-softened leeks, and shower the whole thing with toasty breadcrumbs. The cheese warms slightly but still maintains its cool creaminess, while the leeks shine in their subtlety. A perfect Thursday night dinner on that first warm spring night.