Long day. Lots of scheming while shopping, wherefrom hangs a new story, which I’ll tell tomorrow. For the nonce: three sheets to the wind, having consumed all of 1.5 bourbons & water. Do your drinking while you’re young, ye pups…’cause when you get to be an Old Bat or Buzzard, your boozing days will be over.
The bourbon and the water were guzzled while the guzzler was a-waiting for this dinner to percolate to fruition:
You need (approximately):
-Some pieces of chicken of the sort you most enjoy
-One or two lemons, sliced
-Fresh thyme (several sprigs, leaves removed and lightly chopped) or about 1/4 tsp. dried; or combination thereof
-1/2 onion, chopped
-One or two cloves garlic
-Chicken broth, white wine, or combination thereof (enough to come about 1/2 way up the chicken pieces, once they’re ensconced in a frying pan)
-More chicken broth, more white wine, a slug of Marsala or sherry, or even (gasp!) water
-About a tablespoon of flour
-Some chopped parsley, fresh or dried
-A little olive oil
-Salt & pepper to taste
-A decent frying pan
-A mug or measuring cup
Skim the bottom of said frying pan with some olive oil. Cook the chopped onion gently in the olive oil until the onion is tender, translucent, and starting to brown a bit. When the onion is cooked, remove it from the oil and set it aside on a plate.
Now brown the chicken in the onion-flavored oil. No hurry—you can accomplish this over medium or medium-low heat without splattering the stove and countertop with grease. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, as desired.
When the chicken looks pleasingly browned, add the garlic and thyme. Return the onion to the pan and nestle it around the chicken pieces. Pour the liquid of your choice (broth, wine, water…whatEVER) into the pan, so that it comes about 1/2-way up the sides of the chicken pieces. Place a lemon slice on top of each piece of chicken. Drop any remaining slices into the broth. Cover. Simmer. Go away for about 20 minutes (white meat) or 30 minutes (dark meat).
Shortly before the meat is done, cook some noodles or rice (well…if you’re cooking rice, you ‘d best set it to simmer about the same time as you leave the chicken to finish cooking, since rice will take some 25 minutes).
Remove the lemon slices from the chicken and the chicken broth. Discard. Lift the chicken out of the broth.
In a container such as a coffee mug, combine the flour with chicken broth or wine and a little water. Whap together well, using a fork, to eliminate any lumps.
Turn the heat up under the chicken broth. Pour in the flour & liquid; mix together briskly, and allow to bubble away at a fast simmer for several minutes, until gravy thickens. Add parsley to give a little color and zing.
Serve the chicken and incredible gravy over pasta or rice.
B-a-a-a-d Human Greens
Here’s how you take something nutritious and use it to destroy your body. Pick some greens out of your garden, or scrounge some from the grocery store. (I used beet greens; spinach would do well, as will chard or collard greens.)
Bring the water for pasta to a boil. Place the washed greens in the colander in which you intend to drain the pasta. When the pasta water comes to a rolling boil, set the colander with the greens into the hot water. Allow to cook until the leaves turn bright green. If you’re using tougher greens such as collards, you may want to let them cook until pretty well softened.
Melt a fine slug of butter in a small frying pan. With tongs, lift the colander out of the kettle and put it in the sink. Run some cold water over the greens to stop the cooking. Drain well. Put the drained, blanched greens into the melted butter in the pan. Cover and allow to braise while you’re finishing with the rest of the food. If desired, sprinkle a little nutmeg over the greens before serving.