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Learning to cook is like riding a bike!

Don’t be scared, it’s only food! 

I guess I grew up old school and assumed everyone, well mainly women knew how to cook. It wasn’t till I’d say about ten years or so I noticed by way of comments from a few co-workers, that not everyone cooks, in fact a lot of people eat out. That’s insane, and expensive. Then you add magazine articles, and programs like “Worst Cooks in America” and I was surprisingly amazed that a lot of men and women do not know how to cook, and some are in fact just scared. 

Perhaps it has to do with handling sharp knives, or just touching raw meat, that grosses some people out. Don’t worry you are not alone. My advice is to just relax before you start cooking, have a glass of wine, I listen to music when i cook, it keeps me relaxed and focused. Decide what you are going to make first then get your cooking utensils, knifes, and equipment that you will use. Next gather all the ingredients you will use and have then either portioned out in separate dishes, or not. 

Make sure to wash your hands with soap and hot water for at least two minutes. 

Start with easy recipes till you feel comfortable  enough to try more complex dishes. I always suggest to start by searing chicken breast on the stove. 

It’s incredibly easy, because all you’re doing in trimming off any excess fat and cartilage, season with salt and pepper, and over med-high heat cook the chicken for approx 3-5 min each side. you want to make sure the chicken breast has an internal temperature of no less than 165 degrees, that is for the breast only. Chicken legs, thighs need to reach a temperature of 170-180 degrees.  I will give a link for the USDA web site that has a list of various proteins and what is the safe temperature for each type of protein and cut. 

You can also season your chicken breast with garlic, onion powder, paprika, cumin, just to name a few. You want your chicken succulent, juicy, and taste great!

Trust me, if you can cook chicken and it taste good then you are on your way to learning how to cook. Never deter from a recipe, especially if it deals with baking. Never use a dull knife, in fact using  a dull knife is more dangerous than a sharp knife. Make sure your work area and counters are clean before you start. Most important take your time, don’t rush you can always build speed at a later time. 

And finally, enjoy your meal knowing you made it all on your own! 

Trimmed and seasoned

Next melt 2 tbsp olive oil and butter over high heat

This is what you’re looking for, you do not want to burn the butter.

Add chicken to hot skillet, and sear each side for 3-5 min

Your looking for a golden blonde/brown sear.

After each side has seared drop heat to med, cover and left steam for another 3-5 minutes

Center of breast must read 160 degrees

Finished! Dinner is ready!

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About Dish With Clarissa

Clarissa Ellis grew up learning to cook with her mom. In a time where traditional home-cooked food was going out of style, Clarissa learned to love and make those simple 'comfort foods' and family favorites. As she grew - and her mom got busier with long work hours, Clarissa supported her mom by taking over most of the cooking duties around the home. By the time Clarissa started high school - she had absorbed her mother's approach to traditional, homestyle Italian dishes; and thanks to So Cal's great weather year round... a love of cooking on the grill. Fast forward 30 years and Clarissa has never stopped cooking. She continued to explore food, learning more from So Cal's amazing cultural variety, trying things out on her family and her friends... and always learning. Never content to merely cook a good meal, Clarissa developed the habit of talking sharing her ideas with family, friends and coworkers. After a lifetime of learning and experimenting, Clarissa's love affair with traditional Italian cooking, and 'comfort foods' has grown into a robust, creative and cross-cultural approach to cooking that still manages to remain 'accessible' to the rest of us. Now Clarissa brings her experience and her approach online through her blog - giving all of us a chance give ourselves, our friends and our family the benefits of a lifetime of passion and joy in cooking simply great meals.

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