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Posts Tagged ‘parsley’

Yummy! It smells so good in my shop today! I decided that I would cook supper for my ladies tonight as they both are going to be busy ! I thought a wonderful spaghetti would be great.  Then I thought I would do a thick meaty sauce but Mrs wanted a marinara type sauce, so that is what I made. I started with some red onion, green peppers and portobello mushrooms. I diced everything really fine, except the mushrooms, which I left a little bigger. To this  I added some light olive oil and salt and pepper. I allowed the veggies to sweat for a little bit until they started soften up. I then added some La San Marzano tomatoes and broke those up. Some tomato paste followed then some regular Ragu sauce because of time factors. As this was coming to a slow simmer, I finely chopped some of my garden fresh rosemary, oregano, parsley and a tiny bit of cilantro. I was able to pick up some basil from my local market, which completed the herb blend. I put this all together in the pot and let it simmer for about 3 hrs. I have my shop door open and folks wandered by saying “What smells so good”. I also cooked up some whole wheat spaghetti to mix into this wonderful sauce!

A woman even came into my shop to see my soaps and after we chatted for a while, I learned that she was Italian and a recent transplant to the city. Of course I had to have her taste my spaghetti sauce and she said it was fantastic. I’ll take that as a compliment any day. Thank you Franca!

Mrs and the girl both reported that the spaghetti was fantastic. It was just what my Mrs was looking for. I can’t wait to have some on my break later tonight!

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A nice little bowl of chicken with rice soup

On Saturday, after closing up my little store uptown for the day (I own a handmade soap shop), I headed to the grocery store to pick up something quick for supper. My wife was in the mood for some supermarket roasted chicken so that’s what I got; a fully-cooked little rotisserie chicken.

We brought it home and had the chicken and some potato wedges, and my wife whipped up some quick coleslaw, complete with chopped dill pickles and a touch of the pickle juice in the creamy dressing. It was delicious.

Making the stock: After supper, my wife took all the meat off the chicken. There was still an entire breast left, as well as a fair bit of dark meat. The bones and all the fat, juices, wing tips, even the string that held the chicken together, all of that went into a small stock pot. We added a chopped carrot, chopped celery, the tops of a few onions that had sprouted in the pantry, two minced cloves of garlic, and some dried herbs (classic parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme). We added some water (about 7 cups) and 1 cup of leftover dry white wine from a previous gathering. I brought it all to a boil and then reduced it to a simmer for 2 hours.

When it was done simmering, the chicken stock was strained and the bones and cooked vegetables were set aside to cool so they could be picked through for any remaining meat the next day. Once the stock and strained veggies were cool, they were refrigerated.

Making the soup: The next day, my wife re-strained the stock through a fine mesh strainer, which did a great job of separating any floating fat globules. In a stockpot, we tossed in 2 large diced carrots, 2 stalks of sliced celery, 3 diced shallots, and 3 cloves of minced garlic, which we then drizzled with olive oil. The veggies were sweated over a medium heat until the onion and celery appeared somewhat translucent.

Our 6 cups of stock plus 6 cups of water were added to the stockpot, as well as more dried parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. The parsley was especially nice because we had recently dried it in our dehydrator and it was still in big natural pieces. I think it was the parsley that really gave it a great rustic soup feel. We added salt and pepper to taste (probably about 2 teaspoons of salt) and let it all simmer for about an hour and a half.

After it had been simmering for 90 minutes, my wife added all the chopped chicken she had salvaged from the bones and body, which was probably about 2 cups. I also tossed in 1/3 cup of raw basmati rice and about 12 mixed peppercorns.

The soup continued to simmer for about another 30 or 40 minutes and then it was ready to serve. It was probably the best chicken and rice soup I have ever had. It was perfectly seasoned and was full of flavour. I was initially concerned about how much salt my wife was adding but it was just right. This is a recipe that I would definitely make again, and could possibly be a keeper for my diner. My wife and I ate it with cheddar sourdough bread, while my daughter had hers with vegetable thin crackers. She loved hers too, especially since she’s been fighting a cold for a few days. I think the loving touch of homemade chicken soup will be just the thing to get her feeling better again.

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