The Mind of Bluesleepy

Is there a chef in the house? 22 October 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — bluesleepy @ 10:16 pm

Last night Kurt made dinner for us.  It wasn’t anything fancy, not like what he had made for our anniversary.  I had one of those stir-fry meals in the freezer, the ones where you just saute up some chicken and throw the veggies and sauce in there too.  Neither one of us were really up for cooking, so Kurt threw that together.

It was actually really good.  But anyhow.

While he was pawing around in the freezer trying to make sure we’d used up all the old chicken (we just got a new bag of frozen breasts at BJ’s), he found a freezer bag full of chicken thighs, ones I’d packaged up when I got a great deal on thighs at the commissary.  So I decided to look around on the internet to find a good recipe for chicken thighs with food I already had on hand.  Lately I’ve been trying to use up what I have, instead of going out and buying new all the time.

It’s working, surprisingly enough.  My fridge is far more bare than it normally is, and that’s a good thing.  We have such a tendency of letting things go bad because the fridge is so full.  Things get shoved behind taller things, and the next thing we know, we’ve got rancid yogurt.  Yuck.

I found this recipe, for Spiced Chicken Thighs, which called for things I already had in my pantry.  Yes, I have garam masala on my shelf.  Garam masala is a blend of spices of Indian origin that varies from region to region, and can feature spices like cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, mace, and nutmeg.  I have some that I bought at an Indian store in Beaverton, Oregon, when I went to visit a friend of mine, and I bought it mainly because it was so inexpensive.  I have a zillion spices in my cupboard, everything from coriander and cardamom and turmeric to the more common spices like basil and oregano and parsley.  I even have a huge wad of saffron that Kurt brought me home from the Middle East.  He paid $25 for it over in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.  In the stores, you can pay $5 or $10 for a few threads of it.  I found an online source just now that charges $75 for an ounce of saffron; I’m pretty sure I have several ounces.

If you ever need saffron, let me know.  I have plenty to share!

Anyhow.  Back to cooking.

The first thing you do is soften some sliced onion in a little bit of oil (the recipe calls for cooking spray, but I prefer olive oil).  While that’s cooking, you take the garam masala, and some curry powder (which isn’t a spice in and of itself; it’s a blend, just like garam masala is), and some salt, and you sprinkle it over the skinned chicken thighs.  Brown the chicken in a little bit of oil, and once both sides are gorgeously brown, add red wine and red wine vinegar to deglaze the pan.

Wednesday night dinner

Once the wine has simmered for a minute, add chicken broth and the onions you softened earlier, and simmer for twenty minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.

See how easy this recipe is?

Once the chicken is cooked through, you can serve it.  What I did, though, is remove the chicken from the pan.  Then I added a mix of two tablespoons cool water with one tablespoon of cornstarch so the sauce would thicken into more of a gravy consistency.

Wednesday night dinner

I served it with some whole-wheat couscous, to which I had added ground coriander and petite green peas and a little bit of mint.  A salad rounded And let me tell you, it was delicious!  Plus it was super, super easy.  I think I’ll make this for our next dinner party.  We really need to have over this guy that works in Kurt’s office; he’s a geographical bachelor, and the food at the galley on base is simply Not Good.  It’s okay, but it’s nothing like home cooking.  Maybe Kurt can invite him over, and I’ll make this for him.  Yummy!

Completely unrelated side note: I scrubbed my kitchen floor today!  As in, scrubbed.  I filled a bucket full of hot water and Dr Bronner’s Sal Suds, got down on my hands and knees, and used a scrub brush to banish the dirt on my kitchen floor.  We have linoleum in our kitchen, and it’s got pockmarks in it as part of the design.  Those pockmarks collect dirt like you wouldn’t believe, and noticeably to boot.  I’d just gone over to my friend’s house on Sunday, and she mentioned how she had scrubbed her floor — and we have the same linoleum.  You’d like all of us would have the same floors, but we don’t.  It’s strange.

Her floor looked so good after the scrubbing!  So as soon as my other friend left this morning after our playdate, I got down on my hands and knees and scrubbed.  It looks so good that Kurt noticed without my telling him.  And if Kurt noticed, you know there is a major difference!

And now time for a weather update.  Fall has hit quickly here in Rhode Island.  It has been very chilly today, only reaching into the 40s.  I was worried about Grace’s wet hair when we left swim lessons today, but figured she’d be in the car for most of the time we were outside.  The rest of the week will be only in the 50s, even though last week we still had some lovely warm days.  I guess summer really is over.


3 Responses to “Is there a chef in the house?”

  1. sleepyjane Says:

    Ugh. Now I have the urge to scrub my tiles. Seriously. I may be the only person on the planet that actually looks forward to scrubbing floors. I’m actually just in love with the good feeling that comes after cleaning. 😉

    The food looks delish, as always!

  2. michele Says:

    oh and REAL saffron rice, etc. is so fragrant and tasty. mmm… if you’re willing to part with some, i’ll be your first taker!

  3. Elle Says:

    OMG this looks so yummilicious – I need to invest in some garam masala. Next time I’m in World Market, I gotta get it.

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