Friday, January 9, 2009

Skint

Day 1: Chicken, potatoes and salad

I managed to avoid a first round of layoffs but don't think I haven't been planning a spartan menu, just in case.

It all swirls around a chicken, probably a roast, but lately we've been enjoying a classic French treatment wherein the bird is stewed for an hour. It seems ridiculous, until you eat it. One thing it does is leave you a pot full of stock, which helps round out the Seven-Day Adventurist menu. One thing it doesn't is afford you crispy, seasoned skin to baste your chicken and delight your senses.

So, Day 1 is the bird. Do it on a Sunday and give thanks. Take your time, drink some wine. (More on that later.) The rest of the week, while delicious, will be less ... gustatory.

With the chicken, do potatoes, roast or mashed. Or rice, if you're mad about rice. Otherwise, hold off. Rice will have its day, and soon.

Shopping list:
One chicken (It's a bit pricier but I buy Smart brand. For now.)
Several russet or golden potatoes
Head of romaine (Get a big one, store it correctly in your crisper - in its plastic bag with a paper towel wrapped around it seems to do the trick - and it'll take you through the week, or close to it.)

Those are the basics. Any frills are up to you. A shallot or two in the pan of roast potatoes does wonders, and if you do mashed, you'll need at least butter and maybe dairy. (Though, following a trick by Richard Olney, we rely mostly on the cooking water to moisten the potatoes.)

For the salad, sky's the limit. Unless, of course, it's falling.

Day 2 ... soup.

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