Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Blue Ribbon Baked Chicken To honor the Compton's Cafeteria Riots

The first known LGBT riot protesting police brutality nearly disappeared from history. Read about it after the recipe.

This dish is simple to throw together and features all of the great tastes of Chicken Cordon Bleu!!

3 lg chicken breasts (boneless-skinless)
¼ to ½ lbs deli sliced ham
3 slices bacon
1 can golden mushroom soup
½ pkg cream cheese (softened to room temps)
fresh sliced mushrooms optional
½ pkg pasta (Your choice)
1 pkg green vegetable to microwave

preheat oven to 375°F degrees. While waiting, cut the bacon into halves and cook just about half way so still floppy but much of the grease cooked out. Set aside on paper towels.

If using fresh mushrooms, rinse well and slice into thick slices.

Pile the deli sliced ham onto a large cutting board and run a pizza cutter back and forth across until the ham is shredded into small strips.


Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish and arrange the pile of ham along with the mushrooms as a bed covering the bottom of dish.

Place the chicken breasts on this far enough apart so they don't touch and have plenty of room.

Lay 2 pieces of bacon on each breasts. If needed you can secure with a toothpick but they should be alright.

Bake this for about 20 minutes.
While that is baking: mix the can of soup with the cream cheese until it is well incorporated. 

When your timer goes off at 20 minutes. Open the oven and pour the soup mix around the chicken pieces, but not on them!

Return to oven for another 20 to 25 minutes. Check with a thermometer, the chicken should be at least 150 degrees to 160 degrees.

To crisp up the bacon, flip the oven over to broiler and broil for about 5 to 6 minutes or until bacon is the way you like.

During this last 25 minutes of baking, cook up the pasta according to package directions.

Once the chicken is ready and bacon crisp, pull from oven and place chicken on a platter, lay a piece of foil over it and let this rest for 7 to 10 minutes. This will allow the chicken to finish cooking and redistributing the juices back to where they should be!

While that rests, use the time to microwave the green vegetables. Serve the pasta with the soup / ham mixture from the baking dish stirred through.
It is easy to plate up the meal and place on the table.

All of the tastes work together because basically this is a deconstructed Chicken Cordon Blue! It does make a beautiful presentation.

For our music:

Remember to cook happy and smiling and your meal will always taste better!
To satisfy and restore.
To nourish, support and maintain.
To gratify, spoil, comfort and please,
to nurture, assist, and sustain
..I cook!

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The Little Black Book of Indiscreet Recipes 


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Compton's Cafeteria Riot

The exact date of this riot is unknown because police records of the 1960s no longer exist and the riot was not covered by newspapers. But it was in August of 1966. Most of those people involved are now no longer with us.
This very important event in our history was almost lost from memory! I am often asked: “How did you ever learn of these things – I never heard of them”. For me, in the case of Compton's Cafeteria's Riots, was the mention of a 2005 documentary: “Screaming Queens; The Riot at the Compton’s Cafeteria”. That presentation by Susan Stryker almost never happened. Before it's debut, the riots had been all but erased from the history books.
According to Stryker, Compton’s Cafeteria riot was “the first known incident of collective militant queer resistance to police harassment in U.S. history." Transgender people finally stood up to the abuse and discrimination by police officers.
Her first hint that something called the “Compton’s Cafeteria Riot” happened came in the form of a small notation in somebody’s abandoned effort to create a gay chronology: “At Compton’s Cafeteria, in August of 1966, gays and lesbians fought back against the police,” it read. The note was enough to get her attention.

Eventually, though, Stryker found Amanda St. Jaymes, a woman who ran a Tenderloin hotel in the 60's. She’d been at the diner during the riot, and her story, with no prompting, lined up exactly with what they’d found.
As soon as a we got that interview,” Stryker says, “we were like, that’s it, we have it.”
The two people they interviewed who saw the queens and hustlers rise up that night — St. Jaymes and an officer named Elliot Blackstone — have since died. “I think, at this point, it’s not a living memory anymore,” Stryker says. “It’s a historical memory.”
What happened that night?
Other people are coming forward and their 50 year old memories being recorded now. Felicia Elizondo came to the Tenderloin district of San Francisco in 1963. “Everybody hung out at Compton’s,” Elizondo says. “It was the center of information. You could come in, when all the girls were sitting down in Compton’s, and strut your stuff, or show off your husband. It was just utopia. We could be who we were.”

In fact the 24 hour cafeteria was one of the few places where transgender people could congregate publicly in the city, they were unwelcome in gay bars.
Tamara Ching knew Compton's well. "It was good to go and be seen and talk to people about what happened during the night. To make sure everybody's OK, everyone made their coins, everybody's coming down off drugs and didn't overdose, and that you didn't go to jail that night," she said.
The Tenderloin in the 1960s was a red light district and a residential ghetto.
Ching describes that sex work in the Tenderloin empowered her. She had a job with the government but still worked the streets at night.
In the 1960s the staff began to call the police to crack down on transgenders who would frequent the restaurant.
On that August night, the management called the police saying some transgender customers had became raucous. When one of these known officers attempted to manhandle one of the trans women, she threw her coffee in his face. At that point the riot began, dishes and furniture were thrown, and the plate-glass windows were smashed. Police called for reinforcements. The fighting spilled into the street, where all the windows were broken out of a police car and a sidewalk newsstand was burned. 

The next night, more transgender people, rentboys, and other members of the LGBT community joined in a picket of the cafeteria. Compton's now would not allow transgender people back in. The demonstration ended with the newly installed plate-glass windows being smashed again.
What this riot stood for and led to was much bigger than just these details. It was the first known example of group protest to police harassment on the part of the LGBT community in US history. It also involved members of the Vanguard, a transgender youth group in the Tenderloin that was the first of its kind in the country.

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