Chef Gilbert Langlois has someone working under him at his Lincoln Square bistro, Chalkboard. And when we say “under,” we mean waist high.
It’s Langlois’s 5-year-old son, Owen, who’s known to hang out in the restaurant kitchen and bring out Pop’s playful side. Like Langlois’s recipe for a creative take on peanut butter and jelly — perfect when you’re taking orders from your own short-order cook.
Roasted Chicken PB&J
3 boneless chicken breasts (Amish, organic, or free range)
¼ c. olive oil
2 tbsp. white vinegar
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
6 basil leaves, finely chopped
1 lg. bunch grapes, halved
½ c. crushed peanuts
2 tbsp. creamy peanut butter
2 slices brioche bread
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Season chicken with salt and pepper, then marinate in oil and white vinegar for 20 minutes.
3. Pat chicken dry. In a pan, saute each breast on one side for 5 minutes over medium heat. Flip and saute less than 1 minute. Transfer to oven; roast for 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix balsamic and basil together. Stir in grapes and pinch of salt. Set aside.
5. In another bowl, mix peanuts and peanut butter.
6. Toast bread and cut into small cubes.
7. Spread peanut sauce on chicken and spoon grape salad on top.
8. Sprinkle brioche cubes over that and enjoy.
Chalkboard, 4343 North Lincoln Avenue, between Montrose and Pensacola Avenues (773-477-7144 or chalkboardrestaurant.com). Children eat free from the kids’ menu 4-7 p.m.
You made that? Check out kitchen aids that make mixing and mashing a piece of cake.
What: The new 14,000-square-foot play zone shows you a wild time with bounce houses, zip lines, climbing walls, and slides.
Why: It’s almost cabin fever season.
When: Open for parties Mon.-Fri., 1-7 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (Open for free play when parties are not in session; call before you go.)
Where: 511 S. Schmale Rd., at Geneva Rd., Carol Stream (630-221-1117). Children 2 & 3, $5; children 4 and up, $8; two children in a session, $12.
Veteran’s Day Camp
What: There’s no school, so drop off kiddos (ages 4 and up) for patriotic crafts, puzzles, games, dramatic play, and recess outside.
Why: Seize your morning freedom.
When: Fri., 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Where: Smarty Party, 1846 W. Belmont Ave., b/t Honore St. & Wolcott Aves. Register at 773-687-0521. Cost is $40 per child.
What: Fifteen quirky little yard tchotchkes are hidden in the trees. Follow directions and crack clues to uncover them.
Why: They never tire of I Spy.
When: Daily, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: Morton Arboretum, Children’s Garden, 4100 Illinois Rte. 53, at I-88, Lisle (630-968-0074). Arboretum admission is $11 for adults, $8 for children 2-7, and free for the under 2s.
Photo: Kelly Aiglon