Mustard Chicken with Bacon and Cream

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This is not a recipe for the faint of heart. It’s a recipe you can only get away with in cold weather–VERY cold weather–and even then you may hear that spiky haired fitness guru from the 90s, Susan Powter, in your head screaming: “Stop the insanity!”

Susan Powter has a point: you’re about to bake chicken with cream (almost 2 cups) and bacon (1/2 a pound). The recipe, like the recipe below this, also comes from David Tanis’s “A Platter of Figs” only I substituted chicken for the originally intended protein: rabbit.

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Spaghetti Carbonara For Beginners

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I frequently have to remind myself that there was a time when any exotic-sounding, technique-heavy recipe would fill me with terror. Cook the pasta until al dente? How will I know when it’s al dente? Toast the garlic until golden brown? What’s golden brown? How’s that different from brown brown?

And by facing my fears head on, tackling recipe after recipe, the fear is gone and now I love to cook. But I remind myself of my old fears because I imagine there are many among you who experience similar fears: “Me? Make spaghetti carbonara? Oh no, I couldn’t. Me? Little old me?”

But spaghetti carbonara is a good recipe for beginners because the payoff is huge and the techniques required are basic and quickly learnable. Here, let me prove it.

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How To Make Your Guests Love You In Five Short Steps

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1. Buy Medjool dates, remove the pits.

2. Stuff each date with a square–or stick–of real Parmesan (1- by 1/4 inch)

3. Wrap each date with 1/3 a piece of bacon and secure with a toothpick.

4. Bake in a preheated oven at 450 degrees for 5 minutes, then turn with tongs and bake 5 to 6 minutes more (until the bacon is crispy).

5. Serve to your very happy guests.

[Based on this recipe.]