I found a bag of unlabelled … something in the freezer. It looked quite chickenish, and I assumed that it was a brace of chicken breasts. Anyhoo, out it came, with a vague plan to stuff with blue cheese. I was quite surprised post thawing to find that the bag in fact contained four chicken thighs, boned and skinned. Not really suitable for stuffing with anything.
Quick change of plan, then – I mixed some olive oil, sage*, salt, pepper and lemon juice, and basted the chicken with it, then put it in a foil-lined baking dish (saves washing up, if not the planet) at 180C.
Then I made a mushroom sauce thus:
A finely chopped shallot saluted down in olive oil, added thinly sliced mushrooms and cooked on low heat till they were nice and soft. Salt, pepper, splash of dry sherry, garlic powder, some cream that was nearly sour.
Took the chicken out of the oven after about twenty minutes, let it rest, gave some to the cats, and sliced the remainder into strips, which I added to the sauce. Ate with rice – delicious.
* I started a new garlic powder, so took the lid off the finished one, and threw the empty glass jar into the recycling. As I did so, I heard a little swoosh sound, as the last of the sage went into the recycling. Bugger.
I nipped (or popped) up to Iceland for some porridge oats. I know, I know, they’re much more expensive, but they are on the doorstep, and time is money and all that.
I also came home with two packs of 2 x pasties for £2, two packs of sliced cheese (I like this for portion control) for £2, two packs of cold meat for £3, the aforementioned porridge, some milk, and a pack of chicken wings for £1.89.
We finished the last of a two week pot of lentil soup yesterday, so I thought the wings would be useful for stock. I roasted them off, just sprayed with a little olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper, and I was expecting to treat the cats; and then I read that they shouldn’t have cooked chicken bones, because they could splinter (the bones, not the cats. I think). When they were cooked, I offered Bill one, while I watched carefully, but she was extremely prissy and I had to take the meat off the bones for her.
Three more have gone into the fridge for Pete to eat for lunch, and the rest are now in the slow cooker, being turned into chicken stock. I shall chop up swede, leek and carrots later, and those and some barley will make another soup. I might give the Tribe some of the slow-cooked chicken, but only if they’re nice to me. Fat chance.
Honestly, I used to think I couldn’t make soup, and bought books on how to do it, but it’s like most other cooking – just use what you have.
A few weeks ago, Nigel Slater made a soda bread loaf, which he cooked in a cast iron casserole. We make lots of soda bread here, and it seemed like a good idea, so I gave it a try; but it was hopeless – you couldn’t turn it out to see if it was done, so I decided to just carry on using a baking tray as before.
On Saturday, I decided to bake a couple of Guinness soda breads; I scaled up the recipe carefully, but something went wrong, and even after adding a bit more flour, the mix felt very wet, so I bunged it in my huge and ancient Le Creuset and baked it in that.
Calamity – the inside was raw. Still we carved the ends of for Saturday night supper of bread, cheese and apple, and planned to surgically remove the remaining decent bits for toast for Sunday breakfast. However, the discovery of half a bag of cranberries in the fridge led to an outburst of fresh cranberry muffins instead, meaning the bread was left for Sunday supper.
Just as well, really. I opened a tin of tuna for the Tribe as a treat, only to discover once it was de-lidded that it was in fact crab; no idea what it was doing on the cat fud shelf. Far too nice to give to the cats, we located the errant tuna and gave them that (it lasted about 3m 20s, I think), and put the crab in the fridge.
Then last evening, I mixed in some mayo, some lemon juice and some paprika with the crab, and we had it on the soda bread. It was really very nice indeed, not least because it was so unexpected.
I’ve not written much recently; not because we’re not cooking – we are! But we’re not doing anything particularly new, and I’m sure my reader doesn’t want to read repeats 🙂
We spent the afternoon in the kitchen yesterday, turning 1.5 kg or so of chicken thighs into some freezer meals, and making this week’s soup.
I’ll write those up later, but I thought for a change you might like to see Lilith, who decided to be helpful and sit on my tagine recipe, goggling all the while.
Fairly quiet, as the weather was vile. Seems ages since we went for a yomp across the fields 🙁
On Saturday, we had lunch in Cafe Ceiturica – they had only one portion of kofta meatball casserole left (wah), so we shared it, and had a plate of their lovely kebabs too. Then Aldi for bits, down to Stoke Bishop for episode x of the Eternal Hunt for the Perfect Gas Lighter (no, this one ain’t it either), and the farm shop on the way home for meat and veg. We were still full when it came to supper time, so I made some cheese scones and some banananananana muffins. We ate the scones, but had to leave the muffins …
Sunday was mostly spent in evaluating visual mySQL tools, as the data we have inherited on the New Project is utterly incomprehensible. These tools seem to be pretty much all awful – Aqua Data Studio would be the best if it a) weren’t so slow, and b) didn’t disconnect itself silently from the database server. And at $400 a copy, I’d like to see a searchable help file, thankyouverymuch. I think we’ve settled on DBVisualizer, which seems to work reasonably well, and is priced at a more acceptable $149. 20 days left of the evaluation copy, so time will tell.
Had a brunchette of scrambly egg and bacon on toast, then cooked pork pot roast with mushrooms and apple for supper. This left 3/4 of a bramley, so I made the world’s smallest apple crumble with it. Freehand, as the battery in the scales gave out just as I’d measured the wholemeal flour. Still good, though.
And that’s it, apart from a rather soggen Cat Incident, which I am about to write up on the cat blog, should anyone be interested.