I think it’s time that I come forward and confess my dirty little secret. My name is Emily and I’m an addict. I hoard frozen chicken.
On Saturday, when I went to the Safeway, I had a vague idea of the amount of chicken already in my freezer, but it was not until after I hit the 50% off all Purdue chicken sale (50-freakin-percent-off, people!!!!) that I realized how much. I currently am in possession of: 1 whole roasting chicken, 2 chicken breasts, 8 thighs, 6 wings, and 10 drumsticks. OK, and I may have just bought a container of chicken livers 15 minutes ago. But only because it was on sale for $1.49 and I am going to need chicken livers for #72 Chicken Livers in Sherry. So it is totally justified.
Anyway, I have a lot of chicken in my house. So I am going to be making a lot of chicken dishes in the near future. Let’s start with #44, shall we?
I closely followed this recipe to be as true to Dinner is Served! as possible. I really, really did. This is my timeline:
6:50 Skinned chicken (I used 2 drumsticks and 2 thighs).
6:55 Browned chicken in oil (cut down oil to 2 tbsp from 1/4 cup. The DiS! people love their oil). As the chicken browned, I chopped the onion and mushrooms.
7:00 Flipped chicken.
7:05 Added onion and mushrooms.
7:10 Added red wine
7:15 Added can of chopped tomatoes, and covered to simmer for 20-30 minutes.
So I was going like gangbusters at this point, right?
7:20 I revved up the toaster oven to make homemade croutons for the salad (as I have previously written, my Safeway doesn’t have endive, but they do carry anchovies, so I am making a Caesar salad). I also heated up the butter for the canned beans, and mixed the salad dressing.
7:40 This was when, 5 minutes before the Chicken Cacciatore was to come out of the pan and onto the plate and be served exactly when Dinner was designed to be Served–I realized that I forgot to put on the spaghetti. Shit.
7:44 I took the croutons out of the toaster oven. And they looked lovely (see image, left).
7:50 The pasta water at this time was still not at a boil. I got a bit peeved here. Everything would’ve been plated by now if I had been paying more attention to Dinner is Served! and not prematurely celebrating a perfectly executed meal. So, at this point I just kept everything warm. Thankfully, this was braising-type dish. The chicken, nor the sauce, was affected negatively by simmering in the pan just a bit longer. But seriously, this could have been all done by now. It should have been. I feel like I failed #44.
I really liked this meal. Well, what’s not to like? It’s a well-balanced, all-food groups represented, meal. In the tradition of all the Dinner is Served! chicken dishes thus far, the meat was tender and juicy. The sauce was solid. The only thing I did was, once plated, I put some red pepper flakes on it to give it some punch. The buttered broad beans made me think of being a kid. It reminded me of cafeteria lunches and hurried weeknight dinners. There was something comforting about that.
And I like Caesar salad. Specifically my Caesar salad, which is my mum’s Caesar salad, which is a real Caesar salad with anchovies and lemon juice and Worcestershire and raw egg. None of that bottled creamy crap. This was also the first time in history that I made croutons and didn’t just torch them in the toaster oven (I’ve incinerated my fair share of croutons and garlic bread in that thing).
A note on the dessert: I did not buy spumoni. It was $5 for a 1/2 gallon. Furthermore, I do not need an entire 1/2 gallon of spumoni taking up valuable real estate in my freezer (and we know how little there is of that, am I right?). Don’t think I dislike spumoni, because I may like it a bit too much (it might be one of the few things that I had in common with my grandfather–a love of spumoni. I get stoked when it’s on the menu at an Italian restaurant. Seriously). Anyway, that 1/2 gallon would be gone in 3 days. Hell, maybe even 2 if it were a weekend.
But that is neither here nor there. Back to the meal! #44 reads “make or buy Spumoni.” And make it I did. What’s in spumoni anyway? Pistachio ice cream, chocolate ice cream, strawberry ice cream and dried fruits/nuts. This was my solution. There was strawberry ice cream in the house already as were Maraschino cherries (from baked stuffed peaches). I don’t like chocolate ice cream, so I nixed that and I bought a pint of pistachio ice cream (on sale). I let the 2 ice cream containers sit on the counter for a bit to soften and then I mixed both ice creams and chopped cherries together, like they do at the Cold Stone Creamery. BAM! Spumoni! Delicious. I want to scoop out a bowl while I’m writing this, but I am trying to maintain a modicum of control.
Well, with my ice cream consumption, anyway. It’s gonna be a fight to lay off of the frozen chicken.