No matter your feelings about Valentine’s Day (a day to celebrate those you love/a ploy that candy, flower, and greeting card companies promote to get more money out of you), there are very few of us who don’t do anything on Valentine’s Day. You have to eat, after all!
The Real Kitchen is here to help make your life easier so you don’t have to deal with busy restaurants, rude customers, and crazy expensive meals. Instead of googling “Where to go for Valentine’s Day Dinner near me,” we’ve rounded up some easy, restaurant-quality recipes and tricks you can pull off in a flash to make your Valentine’s meal so good, you don’t even miss the restaurant. (And chances are, most of the restaurants are already booked up, anyway!) So let’s get started and learn tricks on how to cook a delicious Valentine’s Day dinner at home!
Trick #1 – Don’t Overcook that Chicken
We don’t know what it is, but it seems we’ve been so scared of eating undercooked chicken that we overcook it just to be safe. What we’re left with is dry, burnt chicken that we could use as wood chips in our garden instead of a meal on our plate.
Tips for not overcooking chicken:
- Don’t start with cold chicken (let it come to room temperature).
- Warm up your pan before the chicken goes in (chicken is cooking while the pan is heating up, making the chicken done before expected).
- Cutting chicken too soon (chicken needs to rest for around 5 minutes after cooking, just like steak).
- Use a thermometer to check doneness, don’t just assume it’s done based on how it looks (thermometers such as this one are more accurate and will tell you the precise moment the chicken is done).
Get all your supplies ready beforehand
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: the easiest way to get stressed out while cooking is to spend all your time looking for ingredients while your food is cooking, making your food become overdone and burnt.
Get out everything you need before you start. To reduce your stress even more, measure your ingredients and cut anything you need so when the moment comes to add your ingredients, you can just dump it in.
Set the Table
People underestimate how much the environment plays into their satisfaction with a meal. Use cloth napkins. Use the “fancy” dishes. Light some candles. Place things in serving bowls, or dish the food up at the stove and bring your plates to the table.
Taking the time to make your meal feel special beyond just the food you’re eating will have a tremendous impact on how you feel about the meal afterward.
In today’s economic climate, you don’t need to spend a fortune at a restaurant to enjoy a good meal for Valentine’s Day. Cooking your meal correctly, taking the stress out of it, and making the environment feel special can take your cooking to the next level.
Here are some great recipes to enhance your Valentine’s day:
- Date Night Spaghetti & Meatballs
- Tone’s® Italian Boursin Chicken Pasta
- Weber® Roasted Garlic & Herb Bone-In Ribeye
- Tone’s® Rosemary Garlic Salmon
- Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Snickers No Bake Cheesecake