Last Sunday, in the face of a late night snowstorm, I roasted a chicken. No I did not run out and buy milk and bread (well, ok only if it was on the list) but instead thought this would be smart. Apparently others did too. I had to go to two grocery stores to find a bird. Not necessarily an organic one, although that would be preferred; one at all.
Still, it was a smart idea to roast a bird. I followed Jamie Oliver‘s instructions, except I also tossed in two baking potatoes and a sweet potato into the tray, and I skipped making gravy. I’m an odd bird myself as I don’t care for gravy (hmm, greasy meat drippings + flour is good in what way?) but my husband does. Even he declared “you don’t need gravy for chicken as it’s moist by itself.” Fine with me! If I don’t like gravy, then you can bet I probably can’t make it either.
The husband took a quarter of the bird (you know, the leg et al) and my daughter and I ate some of the breast meat and we were left with a fair amount of bird. For a humanely treated bird at $9 (plus veggie costs of course), not such a shabby dinner! We had enough left over that we pretty much ate the same thing again, except I put my chicken on a salad and they enjoyed the rest of the roast veggies. I also made the family eat quinoa, which apparently I made too much, so I got to make some nice salads all week from that.
Christine’s Quinoa Salad or What-Veggies-Do-I-Have-Leftover-Right-Now Salad
- Quinoa (cooked, leftover from dinner because the family doesn’t know what’s good for them)
- Finely chopped up red pepper
- Finely chopped up carrots
- Finely chopped up zucchini
- Finely chopped up mushrooms
- Feta cheese
- A teaspoon of olive oil, the good stuff since you’ll be really tasting it
- A splash of balsamic vinegar
- Maybe some chopped up walnuts
The rest of the week, I ate two quinoa salads and the chicken on two other salads and my husband ate the wings and some of the other meat. And at the end of the week, we made chicken and rice soup.
Here’s the funny thing about the soup. I pulled out a recipe and when I was done, I believe I used three of the ingredients. I used chicken instead of turkey. I used rice instead of tortillas. I used a jalapeno, not called for. I believe once I got past the onion, garlic and chicken stock, I did something else entirely. I used a lot more cumin than the recipe suggested. I even forgot the dang can of tomatoes. Here’s what I made:
In a soup pot, saute in a little bit of olive oil:
- 1 onion
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- jalapeno pepper
Add 64 ounces of chicken broth and leftover roast chicken. Season with oregano, cumin, paprika and coriander. If you want a bit more heat, add red pepper while you’re at it.
Get the whole pot up to a boil and toss in half a cup of uncooked rice. Simmer for 20 minutes. Then, DO NOT FORGET TO ADD YOUR CANNED DICED TOMATOES. Or if you do, like I did, then just add salsa to your soup when done. (Alternatively, don’t bother with the canned tomatoes whatsoever and just use salsa.) Garnish with avocado, unless you’ve let the damn thing go bad at the bottom of your fridge.
We were very very lucky, with 8 inches of snow, that it didn’t kill us too badly with ice, which is frequently what happens. This concerned me because our neighborhood is a lovely old neighborhood with lots of lovely old trees. And lovely old trees are wonderful things unless Mother Nature gets mad and brings us an ice storm and then the branches can’t take it and some sort of power is inevitably lost. However, this did not happen, but if it did, I was prepared to stick the food in a container outside on the screened porch. I’m still convinced having the roast chicken around, even with the threat of lost power, was a good thing to do.
We were quite lucky overall. Husband decided to try to clean off the driveway on Monday afternoon, before the threat of the ice. I thought he might be a bit nuts there, but that turned out to be smart. We only had one shovel with a tip on it, useless for snow shoveling. We were forced to use rakes. I’m sure we looked like ignorant Southerners, but we got it done in a little over an hour and a half. The snow was light and powdery at that point. Had we waited, it would have indeed had a thick layer of ice on top. Plus, they actually plowed my neighborhood roads, go figure. I could easily get around by Wednesday, which meant I could get back to work and Jazzercise and everything else and that could only be good. (Seriously. Some of my FB friends sounded a little desperate to get out of the house at the end of the week.)
Still, I totally adored watching it get to 52 and melt and melt and melt. I’m hoping the sidewalks AND the sinuses are clearer tomorrow and maybe I’ll attempt a nice an easy 3 miles. It will be Sunday, after all.