Hotel life. Plus, Mustard Chicken.

So we’re going on a month in a hotel now… the first three weeks were in normal hotel rooms, but now we’re in corporate housing so we actually have a little kitchenette and a place to do laundry, other than the bathroom sink.

In our kitchen there is a crazy, tiny little washing machine and dryer in one. At first, I wondered why we don’t have these 2-in-1 machines in the States, but then I realized it’s because they don’t actually dry things. After many failed attempts, I concluded that you can really wash about one outfit at a time, meaning its capacity is literally one shirt, one pair of jeans, and socks.

If you put any more than that in there, or likely even if you put that few of things in there, the dryer really only works half way.

The Mr. really doesn’t appreciate this decorating. Also, notice what I like to call “laptop-gate” on top of the dish drying rack. Yep, that’s right we have, no exaggeration, five computing devices in this tiny little apt.

Also, check out our mini-dishwasher. Any idea what the point of a dishwasher you can’t put a full dinner plate in up-right is? Wouldn’t you rather just handwash it yourself and have the extra room, or an actual oven?

And here is what I thought was an oven.

Happy to finally have some homemade food, I ran out to the store to make Nick’s favorite dish: his mother’s mustard chicken. But, when I got home I realized that is actually a microwave disguised as an oven, so I ended up doing a sauteed variation as it would be hard to get bread crumbs to actually brown in a microwave. I also would feel guilty radiating the organic food that I had just paid a small fortune for. I seriously think eating out here is WAY cheaper than eating in… unless I guess you learn how to shop at the real markets, which I will work on in due time.

Here is our first homemade meal in Hong Kong. Steamed broccoli, caprese salad, and the beloved chicken.Quick recipe for you — what is so great about this is that it’s so simple and you can have all the ingredients in your pantry / freezer so you can whip it up in five minutes, on a moment’s notice.

Leila’s Mustard Chicken.

1. Take chicken breasts (these freeze really easily–you can buy a big value pack and then freeze individual breasts) and pound with a mallet until flat. (We don’t actually have one of those in our little kitchentte, so I skipped that step this time around.)

2. Sprinkle breasts with salt and pepper.

3. Cover chicken breasts with a thick layer of high quality Dijon mustard.

4. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs–I like Panko (or Japanese-style) breadcrumbs–and diced garlic.

5. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or so.

(Without an oven, I sauteed the breasts in a little olive oil and browned the bread crumbs separately in a pan–it worked just fine, but it’s more of a mess so I recommend the above if you have an oven at your disposal.)

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5 responses to “Hotel life. Plus, Mustard Chicken.

  1. Very resourceful, very pretty supper! Great job! Now how funny is it that I just posted about drying clothes…
    Having just dealt with a house in Ireland where “oven not working” but “hob works” only that was not exactly true and there weren’t any real pans, I can sympathize. What.a.pain.

  2. When we were looking at apartments here, the guy showing us around pointed out one of those washer-dryer combos as a selling point! I pretty much told him flat-out that I didn’t believe it would actually get clothes dry.

    Also, I did a similar thing with our hotel kitchenette in our first few days in Oklahoma – I told Philip I wasn’t up for unpacking our kitchen stuff (we were moving into our apt in a day or two) and wanted to do something easy for dinner. So we got a frozen pizza and brought it back to find out that no, there was in fact no oven. Whoops!

  3. I pounded out chicken breasts using the bottom of a heavy drinking glass one time when I couldn’t find my mallet . . . it’s that “Inner Macgyver”. Glad to know why the timing of your Minted posts are so erratic . . . it’s totally making sense now!!

  4. I recognize that kitchen was put up at the very same place and was totally amazed that the drying cycle of the washer dryer took more than two hours!!!!
    Then one night I thought I would try out the oven little did I know that it was only a microwave which would never bake my store bought apple pie..just threw the entire gooey mess away .. and at the end of 6 weeks I was so happy to be moving out into the flat ..luxury living doesn’t work for me.

    • That is absolutely hilarious that you were just as frustrated as I was with the dryer! I completely agree with you that luxury living isn’t for me… but some people stay there for years!!!

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