Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Ugly soup: it's what's for dinner, apparently

Tonight's plan was to try out the new President's Choice Blue Menu butter chicken sauce. It's a reduced-fat version of their sauce in a jar that you toss over chicken and simmer until cooked. Chris and I had seen it in their new "Healthy Insider's Report" because we are grocery geeks, and had been looking forward to trying it.

Because I am hardcore, instead of buying some boneless skinless chicken breasts, I purchased a whole chicken and intended to cut it up (go Cooks' Illustrated!), debone the pieces and chop them up. I don't mind doing a little work for my food, and I like a mix of white and dark meat. However. When it came time to cut up said birdy, I found that she was still partially frozen, making the cutting-up process virtually impossible.

"Chris?" I called up the stairs to where he was sitting in his office, working, and presumably already hungry. "How would you like pinto bean and kale soup for supper?"

"Fine with me," he called back, easy to please as always, and so off to the races I went. Did I mention that said pinto beans were frozen in a solid block? Yeah, that was fun. I defrosted them in the microwave for a few minutes, then tossed them into a pot of simmering chicken broth (about 4 cups) in which I had first sauteed a quarter of a large sweet onion and a clove of minced garlic. Once the beans (about 2.5 cups of them, frozen with cooking liquid) thawed and fell apart, I added about 5-6 cups of finely chopped de-stemmed kale, mixed it thoroughly, brought it back up to a boil and let it simmer down for 20 minutes.

We topped off our bowls with freshly grated parmesan cheese and devoured every drop - not just out of hunger, but because it was darned tasty, if very very ugly indeed. I'm always proud of myself when I can manage to put together a homemade dinner even when things don't go exactly the way I want them to.

We'll have the butter chicken tomorrow night - once the birdy decides to thaw out all the way.

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