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One Sec, I’m Doin’ a Scene

Don’t worry… “One sec, I’m doin’ a scene,” doesn’t make much sense to me either. Which is too bad, because these are phrases that my two boys spin to Chad and I on the daily.
When I call Evan for dinner he says, “One sec!” One sec usually evolves into another few minutes, during which I inevitably holler for him again (patience is not my strong suit).

When I ask Andrew if he’s washed his hands he replies, “Hold on, I’m doin’ a scene.” Whaaat in the world.

My powers of mommy observation have unveiled that for little boys that are still little to me but to themselves are almost big, “doin’ a scene” is like when we used to say “let’s pretend…”

Playing pretend was my favorite staple of childhood play. When we visit Chad’s family, he has a little cousin who is a few years younger than Evan and cute, cute, cute as can be. They play really well together and she has a wild imagination. Their games always begin with hauling an armful of stuffed animals out of a long forgotten corner or stomping through the tall grass outside the chicken coop. Amazing worlds are created out of rocks, dirt, vines that hang from the trees, and a few magic words that turn all of it into something they dreamed up. They act out things they’ve seen, heard, thought, or read in a book, and the story is modified every few minutes with amendments to the game; let’s pretend this, or you be that, or I’ll be {insert crazy imagining here}.

We currently have a rather large hole at the edge of our backyard because Evan and the little boy in the next house down became convinced that there are dinosaur bones lurking under the tree roots, just waiting to be discovered. There is a small pile of fossils (a.k.a. rocks) beside the hole, and whenever the boys hit a rough spot in the North Carolina clay they solicit Chad’s help. He happily brandishes a shovel for the imaginary excavation.

Today let’s do a scene and pretend I could modify my favorite beef and beer chili recipe to accomodate the chicken and jalapeno peppers loafing around in my fridge. If you’re feeling beefy, see the original Beef and Beer Chili post here.
I generously peppered and browned two large diced boneless skinless chicken breasts in a little oil. I removed the chicken from the pan and set it aside, and added the onions to cook for a couple minutes. Then i stirred in the garlic. After another minute or two, just when the onions and garlic started to soften, I threw in my diced bell peppers and…
… a large handful of diced canned jalapenos. Chad said he wanted it hot. It was.
I poured in a can of diced tomatoes, a can of diced tomatoes with green chiles, oregano, cumin, pepper (I omitted salt because for me canned jalapenos are salty enough), and worcestershire sauce. Then I stirred in chicken broth and a bottle of beer (I used an amber ale) and brought it all to a boil. I reduced the heat to a simmer and covered the pot, stirring from time to time for about an hour. Then I stirred in a can of drained and rinsed black beans.
Let’s pretend that pretty red roma tomato actually made it into the pot.

“Scenic” Chicken & Beer Chili


2 tablespoons oil

1 1/2- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast cut into bite-sized pieces

black pepper for seasoning chicken

2 onions, chopped

3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/2 cup diced jalapeno peppers, fresh (seeded) or canned- or add peppers according to taste

1 small can of diced tomatoes with green chiles (such as Ro-tel… that variety can be found in 10 ounce cans)

1 (14.5 ounce) can of diced tomatoes

1/2 cup diced green pepper

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 1/2 teaspoons cumin

2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce

black pepper to taste (and salt if you prefer)

1 cup chicken broth

12 ounce bottle (or can) of beer

1 (15 ounce) can of black beans, drained and rinsed

To Make

Heat the oil in a large deep non-stick skillet or dutch oven. Sprinkle pepper all over the diced chicken and then brown the over medium heat. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. Cook the onions and garlic until tender in the drippings left in the pan (about 4 or 5 minutes). Add the diced tomatoes with green chiles, diced tomatoes, and green peppers. Continue cooking until the tomatoes are simmering. Then add the chicken back in, along with the oregano, cumin, pepper, and worcestershire sauce. Pour in the chicken broth and the beer and bring the pot to a boil. Partially cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally, and then add the black beans for the last 30 minutes of cooking.

It Ain’t Easy Bein Green… or Mean « Sugar Dish Me

Thursday 12th of April 2012

[...] They squeal about “callerpillers” and how to fix bricks. They persuade Chad to dig for dinosaur bones and rescue bird nests from killer [...]


Wednesday 14th of March 2012

Oh my sweet lord, I kid you not, I was salivating as I was reading through the process of making this amazing sounding dish. This is the kind of food I love, piquant, depth of flavour, nutritious and SPICY! I *will* be making this and I will be sure to come back here and sing its praises.

Oh, and imaginary play was the best. Even if it's a very, very, VERY embarrassing recollection now. I torment my partner-in-crime-sister with them and her toes curl!!!! Haha!

Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

Wednesday 14th of March 2012

Hahaha I bet your sister LOVES that. My sister and I used to play school. And we had a brother that we tortured and dressed up... until my mom had another girl for us to put pink dresses on. :) The chili turned out well (I am a little bit obsessed with chili when the weather permits). I hope you'll try it! Lemme know how it turns out!

Simply Tia

Wednesday 14th of March 2012

I love this dish!! It looks so flavorful Heather.

And I'm totally adopting that phrase - I mean, really! "Hold on, I'm doing a scene" My hubby is going to hate me in a few weeks cuz I am soooo gonna kill that line!!!

Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

Wednesday 14th of March 2012

My children are total pioneers of procrastination in the English language :)


Tuesday 13th of March 2012

Hilarious, dinosaur bones. We werent as clever. We had tree that was dying and had a huge nodule that looked like a nose that we would pick. I know, you can say dee-scusting!

Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

Wednesday 14th of March 2012

Hahaha that made me think of that allergy commercial with the giant noses. My sister and I thought that was the most funny thing EVER.

{Main St. Cuisine}

Tuesday 13th of March 2012

I'm not going to tell my youngest that there might be dinosaur bones in our NC backyard because he'd keep digging until he found some! We just finished our dinner a short time ago and now I want chili. Love it with a beer in it and my husband complains that I never make it spicy enough for him. I tell him that I'm trying not to singe off my taste buds. :-)

Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

Wednesday 14th of March 2012

Put the beer IN the chili, and then set a bottle on the side. For sipping. Your taste buds will remain in tact :)

And I do not know why they decided there were dinosaur bones in the yard... but I may utilize the giant hole for new shrubbery (it will save me some work).