October 17, 2006

Comfort Food

Sometimes one must perform icky tasks in pursuit of culinary delight. The results are usually worth the effort. My labor Friday paid off all weekend.

Picking chicken off the bone is not my favorite cooking chore. I try hard not to envision the chicken clucking happily around the barnyard or, worse, stifled in a chicken factory. You know what I mean. Yet the chicken must be off the bone when one is crafting chicken stew. I put some happy tunes on the CD player and sang along as I separated the meat from the carcass. The bare bones joined their vegetable counterparts in the stockpot where they simmered with spices for a few hours, melding into my version of homemade stock as it filled the house with a luscious scent. The shredded meat waited patiently in the refrigerator for the next step.

That's another joy of making chicken stew: no part of the chicken gets wasted. It greatly appeals to my sense of efficiency.

I make chicken soup and call it stew because it's thick and chunky. It's also an excuse to cook with farfalle, or bowtie pasta as it is commonly known. Bowties are a favored shape running neck and neck with acini di pepe as my all time favorite pastas. It's rugged and holds up well in soup. I also get weak for rigatoni, but that's a tale for another day.

This weekend was filled with outdoor labor enjoying glorious blue skies and crisp fall air. During the day, Wendy and I channeled weese as we busted ass to get our yard in a semblance of order for the impending winter season. Evenings found our appetites sated with hot chicken stew and cuddles in front of a roaring blaze in the fireplace. Does it get any better than that? Not often methinks, but then we are simple folk.

The touch of green is fresh spinach from a bag, the first I've purchased since the e. coli debacle. Living on the edge, oh yeah baby. That's how we do it here in the 'burbs.




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13 comments:

~Deb said...

Mmmm! Now this looks absolutely yummy! I hate to say this, but my mother made me chicken soup yesterday because she felt I was coming down with a cold. I have one of those mothers that live close by who's exactly like, "Everyone Loves Raymond's" mom. So, her chicken soup consists of big slices of chicken, tortellini pasta, diced up carrots, celary and the best broth ever! I already feel better after eating it.

It does have medicinal purposes--I totally believe that!

WenWhit said...

Mmmmmmm Tasty goodness. Your efforts were worth it. :)

Gina said...

Looking good!

My sister has this extremely tasty corn chowder recipe that is also lovely with nice chunky bits. I love "hearty" soups.

Elizabeth said...

You've inspired me...to eat

Love spinach but I'm still not sure about it in stew. I'll take your word for it, though I don't know why since yer a prevaricatin' homo.

Jane said...

Ooh, I want make chicken and dumplings now! Perhaps on Sunday...

scout said...

Boning chicken sounds kinda nasty, but I remember the activity well. When I was but a wee Scout my mother used to enlist me to help her bone chicken breasts after she had bought, oh, 30 or 40 pounds of them at whatever grocery store had them on sale for 99 cents per pound. The deboned breasts would be portioned and frozen for later use, while the bones went into the pressure cooker to be stripped of any remaining meat for soup. It was kind of gross, but it was good mother-daughter time.

C said...

you made me think of the beef stew that's simmering away in the slow cooker at home. YUMMM can't wait to get there! : )

chapin said...

Yummy...I think I can smell it over the Internet.

Do you ship to the midwest??

sporksforall said...

There are some large fungal growths near your chicken. Beware.

Nice deboning. You had me until you showed the shrooms.

agoodlistener said...

Our comfort food is a beef stew that Kathy makes. the kids used to call it "Hunters'Stew". They also called it "Vladislov", but they were a little strange then.

the only daughter said...

Looks delicious.

Fabio Correia said...

Hummmmmmm! It looks yummi, I happened to find you blog using google while looking for a song lyric, well, kinda fun to read your adventures and opinions, congratulations for your kind place. :)

Regards from Brazil,

- Fabio

SassyFemme said...

Now why did you have to go and ruin what looks and sounds like a perfectly yummy meal with those mushroom things in there? Just ick! Seriously, I hate deboning chicken, too. I usually try to whine enough so Fran'll do it for me.