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The Chef is Coming! The Chef is Coming!

March 4, 2010

What do you fix for dinner when the guest is a chef?   First I’m fixing a roast either on the grill or open hearth rotisserie.  Yeah, that should be good.  Don says my gravy is usually great, just hope I don’t mess that up.  Real mashed potatoes not the stuff from the box.  Now we were going to do a salad but Don decided I could try to make soup.

My first thought was; yeah right.  You can’t open a can of Campbell’s or Progresso when a chef is coming.  It’s got to be homemade from scratch, right?  The only homemade soup I’ve ever made is vegetable and the only vegetables I put in it are potatoes, cabbage and very thin carrots and tomatoes.  If you remember I think I told you I don’t eat cooked green vegetables but will make the exception for finely chopped cabbage in my soup.  To most people what I make isn’t really vegetable soup since there aren’t a LOT of vegetables.  Well, we have a freezer full of chicken courtesy of my sister-in-law and her son so the idea was homemade chicken soup.  I don’t know how to make chicken broth or stock, mine usually comes from a box or can that says Swanson and when a chef is coming for dinner that’s the same as opening a can of soup.  I’ve tried to make chicken broth for my chicken & noodles but it usually tastes like the chicken stuck one foot in and ran away.

In asking my friends and searching cookbooks and the internet I realized I don’t cook the chicken long enough.  I even asked the chef last night and he said I needed to cook the meat off the bones so today that’s what I did.  I took about 5 chicken leg and thigh quarters and put them in a stock pot and covered with water.  I then washed and cut 3 carrots into thirds and did the same with 2 stalks of celery.  I had 1/2 an onion in the fridge so I just threw that in and added 3 whole cloves of garlic, 2 bay leaves and a little thyme.  I cooked it for about 4 hours on low and when I tasted it the chicken had run away after sticking his foot in the water.  I decided I had a little bouillon so I added that, after all that’s not really cheating it’s adding flavor.  I cooked it another 2 hours and the meat was off the bones but I didn’t really taste any change in flavor so I took it off the burner and decided I’d get a can of my old friend Swanson to add to it tomorrow.

After it cooked about 30 minutes I decided to taste it again and IT WAS GOOD.  It tasted like chicken broth.  I removed the chicken and vegetables and let them cool a bit then took a little broth and put in a small sauce pan, washed, peeled and slivered a bit of carrot, sliced a bit of celery and added some chicken to the pan. After it heated a few minutes I added about 1/2 cup of rice and let it cook about 20 minutes and it was better than any can I could have opened.  It was so good I impressed myself.

Now for another vegetable besides potatoes.  I’m NOT opening a can of peas or green beans but have NO idea how to cook fresh vegetables.  And dessert, I can’t do a store bought cake. Do you think they’d mind store bought ice cream?  I really don’t have time for homemade ice cream.

You know this Domestic Goddess stuff is really testing my abilities but The Chef is Coming!  The Chef is Coming!

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