Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Your brain stops tickin'

If you are in Florida giving a talk about contact lenses and you happen to see my boss gallivanting about, don't tell him that I took Monday off to work on my paper at home and to do some start-of-spring cookery. It's May already (SERIOUSLY WHAT) and I haven't shelled any fresh peas, used any fresh herbs, bought any morels... I just had to run to Berkeley Bowl, pick up some spring groceries, and get my hands on some stuff in the kitchen. Otherwise I would never have any chance of getting this paper done. Yes. That's what I'm going with.

So I poached a whole chicken Steve-Sando-style, adding to the pot a bajillion different things from my cabinet and fridge. Bay leaves. Coriander. Fennel seeds. Carrot fronds. Leek greens. Star anise. Sure, why not? It was an interesting process for me because I usually roast chicken, so I'm used to dealing first with the juicy meat under crisp skin, then saving the bones for stock later. By poaching it you end up with a pot full of nice light chicken stock first, then you take off the skin and roast it to make skin chips, and then you're left with this weird fully-cooked muscly chicken carcass to do whatever you want. It was quite a sight.

But it looked a little more familiar once I butchered it, slathered it with pesto, and served it with its crispy skin atop some pasta with peas, pea shoots, and olives. This was pretty tasty--maybe a little salty because I had underestimated the saltiness of the pasta--but when you got everything together in one bite it worked out perfectly, tasting healthy enough with just a little richness from the skin.

Then tonight I took the pea broth that I had made with the pods from Monday, I cooked some carrots in it, and then to that I added some steamed broccoli and some chicken just until it was heated through. The result was this really sweet, delicious soup that came together in ten minutes. I think that all this healthy spring cooking makes up for the steak, quesadilla, and three beers that I had last night (the comma between "steak" and "quesadilla" is not a typo).

Back to the paper Part II! Watch out for Libyans!

1 comment:

  1. Skin chips!!! Crispy skin is definitely the best part of eating any kind of animal.