Monthly Archives: January 2013

Curried Chicken Salad

Tonight’s dinner is brought to you by the theme: What’s fast and uses up things I need to get rid of?

About seven minutes before I took this picture I asked my husband if he wanted some dinner- if you have met David you can anticipate his response was a yes…so looking in the fridge, what did I need to use up? There was leftover chicken from Roast Chicken, greek yogurt that Jeffrey and Libby left behind, and some apples that I dropped leaving the store (expediting their use-by date.) So I landed on a super simple: Curried Chicken Salad.
(Editer’s Note: Having made this before with mayo instead of greek yogurt, we definitely prefer the taste of the mayo one, greek yogurt may require additional seasonings.)

 

curried chicken salad on a bed of lettuce in a red bowlYeah, I know, my phone camera isn’t awesome at color and texture depth.

What I used:

  • leftover chicken
  • celery
  • half an appe
  • a bit of greek yogurt
  • some curry powder
  • romaine

How I did it:

  1. chop the romaine and set aside (any greens will do of course)
  2. chop up the chicken, celery, apple (also awesome with grapes, but I didn’t have any)
  3. put all but lettuce in a mixing bowl
  4. add greek yogurt (not too dry, not too overloaded)
  5. add curry powder to taste
  6. adjust with S&P
  7. serve over lettuce
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Roast Chicken and Potatoes au Gratin

au grat·in

/ˌō ˈgrätn/
Adjective-
Sprinkled with breadcrumbs or grated cheese or both, and browned. 

Continuing the theme of comfort food that has gone with this week’s wonderfully dry cold snap, here is a basic roasted chicken, which I served with potatoes au gratin. Below I will give descriptions of what I did, keeping it ridiculously simple on the chicken, but both dishes really. If you want an expert recipe, versions of both can be found in Julia Child’s classic cookbook. Consult for an expert opinion…

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Not exactly a well rounded meal, but delicious!

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The Potatoes au gratin got nice and browned

What I used:

  • whole chicken
  • butter
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 potatoes
  • gruyere cheese (any will do)*
  • milk

What I did (Chicken):

  1. removed the innards
  2. patted it dry
  3. rubbed it down with softened butter (inside and out)
  4. salt and peppered (inside and out)
  5. Put in the oven at 425 for 15-20 minutes, rotating and browning
  6. roast at 350 until done (check at an hour or so)

What I did (Potatoes):

  1. peel potatoes
  2. slice really thin (I used a cheap mandolin for this)
  3. butter a shallow baking dish
  4. rinse and pat dry potatoes (take off some of the starch)
  5. put half the potatoes on the bottom of the dish
  6. add salt and pepper
  7. add small dots of butter
  8. add shredded cheese
  9. put the other half of the potatoes on
  10. repeat 6, 7, 8
  11. bake at 425 until done (or bake it with the chicken at 350, and when you take the chicken out (and tent it to rest) turn the heat up and move it to the top shelf to brown.)

*For the cost conscious this is a great meal. The chicken was around $4, and the total of the rest (minus cheese) less then a dollar. Using an inexpensive cheddar instead of gruyere would make the whole meal less then $6.
^ Definitions from dictionary.com

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Recovery Soup

Having had a stomach bug the last few days, I have been keeping my food options pretty boring. Fortunately the husband is not ill, so I had to think of something bland and boring that could easily be transformed into something enjoyable to the normal person as well. Here is what I came up with, an Asian inspired chicken noodle soup

20130102-184728.jpgMy bland and boring soup

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David’s less boring soup

What I used:

  • dried asian noodles
  • chicken broth
  • chicken breast
  • seasonings
  • soy sauce
  • fresh ginger
  • spinach
  • mushroom
  • hot oil
  • sesame oil

What I did for the bland soup:

  1. sautéd diced chicken in soy sauce*
  2. season as it cooks
  3. meanwhile heat broth in a saucepan*
  4. add dried noodles cooking to soft
  5. add several slices of ginger*
  6. simmer until chicken is cooked
  7. add chicken and serve….

What I did next for the good stuff:

  1. sautéd sliced mushrooms
  2. wilt spinach in
  3. pour bland soup into bowl
  4. add a dash of sesame oil
  5. add appropriate amount of hot oil dashes (D took 6)
  6. add mushrooms and spinach and serve

* cooked chicken, noodles, broth, ginger and soy sauce all are recommended for eating when your stomach is recovering.

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Cassoulet

cas·sou·let
/ˌkasəˈlā/
Noun
A stew made with meat and beans.

The other night I wanted to make a bit of old-school comfort food. Combining that with the chicken drumsticks I had thawed out, and some sausage that our friends had left in the fridge I decided to make a cassoulet. While I am no French trained chef, I feel free to call this a cassoulet as it is in fact a stew of meat and beans. 🙂

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What I used:

  • four chicken drumsticks
  • half a sausage
  • a shallot, sub diced onions if you prefer
  • two carrots in pieces
  • two celery stalks in pieces
  • fresh thyme
  • a little white wine
  • some chicken broth
  • two cans of cannellini beans

What I did:

  1. browned the chicken pieces in a little olive oil in a dutch oven
  2. removed the chicken to a side dish
  3. lightly brown sliced shallot
  4. add and slightly cook celery and carrot
  5. add salt, pepper and a bit of thyme
  6. add slices of sausage
  7. add some wine and let it cook off the alcohol
  8. add cans of cannellini beans
  9. add a cup of broth
  10. put the chicken back in
  11. simmer on the stove until the chicken is fully cooked (can cook it until the meat falls off the bone if you like)
  12. add a wee bit of cornstarch mixed with cold water if you want to thicken the sauce up

Fantastic served with wine and crusty bread. I never do it, but in theory, might be nice with a salad.

* To make this even easier/faster, you could use other chicken, either cooked up already, or boneless diced chicken breasts. Though the longer stewing time does allow the flavors to mingle better.

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Finally here

After a number of requests to start this food blog, I finally promised I would…seven months ago. But alas here it is. Though it might only be for a handful of you, I am excited to share what I make, and how I make it.

So please join me, and enjoy. And I will definitely be taking requests!

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