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Hoses of the Holy in the Parallel Universe

September 09, 2003

from me fridge

Another fantasy project this. Something I'm good at is cobbling together a meal based on what's left in the fridge. There are degrees of this. Sometimes I've got some fairly decent ingredients that I've bought because of special offers etc. Other times there really isn't much of promise at all. Both can result in great meals, though.

Tonight was very much the former case.

Chicken and Asparagus
I had two chicken breasts in the freezer, and they were Saino's Be Good To Yerself type, because I've made a vow not to buy the floppy and watery kind any more. I also had a package of fresh asparagus, the extra thin kind, which I like best.

I served this with easy cook basmati rice, which takes about 15 minutes. You can start the rice at the same time as the chicken/asparagus.

First thing was to chop and fry a red onion in a large frying pan. I used low-cal cooking spray, but the degree of low-calness is up to you.
When the onion is soft, find half a packet of pine nuts in the cupboard and chuck them in. Doesn't have to be half a packet, especially as they're quite calorific.
Cook the pine nuts with the onions for a while, then add the cubed chicken breast and brown it off. A proper chef would have browned the chicken breast first and then returned it to the pan at this point, but who has time for that?
Next, a splash of white wine from a bottle you happen to have hanging around in the kitchen. About a glass of wine should be right.
To this you want to add a little bit of chicken stock (I always keep a tub of powdered Knorr stock in the cupboard), about a quarter of a pint. Before you add the stock, rub a bit of saffron into it, just a pinch. Saffron is a storecupboard ingredient for me.
Add the stock, bring the heat up, and allow the liquid to reduce a bit. Oh, and a tablespoon of honey at this point won't go amiss. Stir it in. Saffron and honey go great together, and it'll add a nice caramel colour. A bit of black pepper at this point won't hurt.
Get your package of asparagus from the fridge and break it into bite size pieces. Wash it, then stick it in a microwaveable dish with a splash of water.
About 4 minutes before the rice is cooked, push the asparagus into the microwave and cook it on full for a couple of minutes at the most.
Add it to the chicken dish and stir it in.
Finally, stir in about 3 tablespoons of crème fraiche. Again, I used the half fat kind, but you could use full fat if you don't care by this point.
By this point the rice should be cooked, and you're ready to go.


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