There are days when I question what I was thinking when I decided to get a degree in Theater in college. I had gone in undecided, with plans of dabbling in plays and such in between whatever degree I ended up going towards, but quickly fell in with the theater kids and decided there would be no other life for me. I spent the next four years in classes wearing masks, coloring costumes, building puppets out of baby doll heads. It was fun, but was it really going to help me get a job in "the real world"?
When I stop to think about it, I know it has and will continue to do so. It made me creative, helped me to learn to think quickly on my feet, opened my mind to the endless possibilities of each option I happen to come across. It taught me to overcome the fears and put myself out there, willing to fail and fall, with all hope of succeeding. I think anyone looking at the "BA in Theater" on my resume may not be ready to jump right away at the opportunity, but I know that all of these little skills add up to someone ready to do anything and do it well.
As an added bonus the artistic degree has left me surrounded by creative, driven, fascinating people. People who can tell a story that will keep you on the edge of your seat, make you laugh with a perfectly timed raised eyebrow, discuss at length the shoe choice of a character and what it means about who they are and how they move. These people keep me inspired on a daily basis and keep me driven to work hard at whatever it is I want to do--even though I've left the theater world mostly behind me. How lucky to get to spend my life around people who make every day interesting.
And for all of you reading, I bring you a simple recipe for this weeknight because I know you want to be able to spend the extra time you aren't in the kitchen around those people who inspire you.
6 boneless chicken thigh fillets
2 TB olive oil
1 c. dry white wine or dry vermouth (such as Dolin)
1/4 c. lemon juice
2 TB capers, drained and rinsed
2 TB butter
2 TB parsley, chopped
Lay the chicken fillets out on a cutting board and use a meat mallet or a rolling pin to pound them down to an even thickness, about 1/2". Then sprinkle them all over with salt and pepper.
Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Once it is hot add the chicken in a single layer (you may have to work in 2 batches). Sear the chicken about 3-4 minutes on each side, until it is browned and cooked all the way through. Then remove the chicken to a platter.
Add the white wine or vermouth to the pan and scrape up any bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pan. Let the wine boil down to about half a cup. Then add in the lemon juice and capers and cook for another minute. Add the butter and stir until it melts. Then add the parsley and return the chicken and any juices that have accumulated on the plate back to the pan. Flip the chicken once or twice to coat with the sauce and return once again to the platter and pour the sauce over top to serve.