Friday, March 18, 2011

Quick Chicken Soup

Chicken Soup, originally uploaded by essgee51.
Was feeling poorly, so came home early on Wednesday afternoon. Thankfully, I had just enough energy to make a pot of this quick (about 40 minutes from start to finish, and I'm a very slow prepper) and surprisingly tasty soup. I think the bouquet garni (pictured here) made a big difference, and the parsnips helped as well. At any rate, I lived on this soup (augmented by buttered noodles and a can of potato sticks) through Thursday night, and am convinced it's part of the reason I was well enough to return to work on Friday.
  • 5-6 large parsley stems
  • 5-6 thyme stems
  • 2 t. black peppercorns
  • 1-2 T neutral oil (used grapeseed)
  • 6-8 small garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1-1/2 cup onion, chopped (one large one)
  • 1 heaping cup celery, chopped (about 1/2 in.)
  • 1 heaping cup carrots, chopped (about 1/2-1 in.)
  • 3/4 cup parsnips, chopped (about 1/2-1 in.)
  • 1.5 lb. chicken thighs (three huge ones)
  • 1 quart chicken stock (store-bought, in this case)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Put the parsley, thyme and peppercorn into a cheesecloth pouch and tie the ends together.

In a large pot over medium heat, saute the garlic, onions, celery and carrots till they begin to soften, 3-5 minutes. Add chicken, skin-side down, and cook till it begins to color (3-5 minutes), turning once.

Add the stock and the parsnips. Bring to a boil, then cover, lower the temperature and simmer till the chicken's done, about 30 minutes.

Adjust seasoning and serve.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Braised Baby Bok Choy

Braised Baby Bok Choy, originally uploaded by essgee51.
Quick, light and oh so good - the crunchy stems and light, gingery tang contrasted nicely with the richness of leftover (and getting tastier by the night!) lamb and beans. Mostly eyeballed the ingredients, but a rough recipe is below.
  • 4 baby bok choy, cleaned and halved
  • 1-2 tbsp. oil (used peanut)
  • 1 heaping tbsp. garlic, minced (3 cloves)
  • 1-2 tbsp. ginger, julienned
  • 1-2 tbsp. soy sauce, to taste
Over medium heat, saute ginger and garlic in the oil till fragrant and beginning to soften, 2-3 minutes.

Add the bok choy, cut side down. Saute, turning once or twice to coat with oil, till the leaves begin to wilt, about 1-2 minutes. If you don't have enough room in your pan (I didn't), do them in batches.

Return all the bok choy to the pan. Add some water (3-4 tbsp. in my case) and the soy sauce. Stir, then cover and cook till the bok choy stems are tender but still crisp, about 4-7 minutes.

Adjust seasoning.