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Sunday, February 11, 2007

a quick note about the versatility of roast chicken and the concept of leftovers

I put it to you that there is no such thing as “leftover” roast chicken, primarily because it’s a core ingredient of my cooking these days. case in point: the two chicken dishes I made today that will feed me this week: the roast chicken variation of chirashi sushi (which needs a clever name): sushi rice, seasonings, veggies (I forgot to add the avocado earlier! oh well, next serving), pickled ginger, etc., and a quick chicken curry: sautéed scallion, carrot, ginger, deglazed with rice wine, chicken broth and coconut milk added, then some green peas and curry powder (I used S&B brand, which is a favorite of mine), plus the chicken, heated through. wonderful! and so simple. I could have easily made it more complex and perhaps next time I will, but this is truly tasty and is now cooling in the freezer, to be heated and eaten over freshly steamed rice with raita whenever I’m in the mood.

I’ve made such yummy food to eat for the next five or six days: tomato/basil soup (this is insanely easy; we used to make it at the restaurant where I cooked when I was in high school: canned crushed Italian tomatoes, half and half or heavy cream, chiffonade of fresh basil, pressed or minced garlic, a tiny bit of fennel seed to taste, heated gently -- talk about comfort food! VERY good with grilled cheese, whether you choose the American cheese variety or fontina/roasted red pepper/ciabatta grilled in olive oil), tuna salad with finely diced Braeburn apple, the aforementioned chicken dishes -- good stuff! hard to complain with this around.

I just polished off the best beef stew I’ve ever made, and it was so simple: onions, celery and carrots sautéed in butter until browned, with garlic, crushed tomatoes, chopped parsley, chuck roast, chicken stock and red wine added to cover, brought to a simmer on top of the stove then put in a 325 F over to bake for almost four hours (with a fresh infusion of parsley and garlic added midway; the beef taken out, shredded, and added back in at the end). insanely tender and nourishing, and I served it with mashed potatoes (made with my trusty potato ricer, a tool every mashed-potato-lover should have) with cream cheese and chives, sugar snap peas, pan roasted cherry tomatoes and steamed fresh spinach. that’s probably the last beef stew of this season, since I really only like it when it’s cold outside (and that will end all too soon).

so what should I cook next?

1 comment:

Maidmoron said...

mmmm you're making me hungry. I love roast chicken.

And I also love putting in a big dollop of chevre in piping hot tomato soup.