Before we get to the chicken, Thanksgiving progress updates. My dress now has a body, although the fit isn't quite right (which is what I get for trying a pattern for the first time on something that matters!), and I really think that a few details like finishing the neckline and hem, and adding sleeves, will really spiff it up (if I get it to fit). Nonetheless, progress! I won't have to pin pieces to my undergarments, after all!
For those of you who asked, I have 2 big refrigerators upstairs which hold food, a large underbar sized refrigerator for milk & salad dressing only, and last week my third big fridge (in the basement) bit the dust. Poor timing. I'll survive. I also have two freezers. Hey, a girl has to do what a girl has to do to feed 7 guys, now, doesn't she? My shipment Friday included $100 worth of turkey...fresh turkeys, because I hate thawing the frozen ones. It was about 60 pounds all told between birds and legs. No one leaves my table hungry! I also have about 3 weeks worth of food, excluding milk, and I do need some of those Pillsbury roll out pie crusts. Other than that, my stock is good, for a total of $649.76. And that is why I can order from a restaurant supply house, and have them send a refrigerated 10 wheel truck and a guy with a hand truck to bring it right into the kitchen, where Thor inspects it, determines that it's uncooked, and therefore not food, and goes to sleep.
Most of the college aged troops are home, and life is good in Thor world. Pictures will surely surface at a later time, but suffice it to say, there is a large crowd of people playing Risk in my family room, with the dog keeping the peace while chewing his new dinosaur femur.
And, now, what you are waiting for: A new recipe from James Beard! OK, maybe it's not new, since he died about 20 years ago, but it's new to us, right? And my troops tried and approved it (and, trust me, these are not people inclined to be kind with criticism), so it's worth your effort.
1 whole chicken (roaster of whatever's handy)
1 large stockpot
1 onion stuck with 2 cloves
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs parsley
1 to 2 whole garlic cloves
1 sliver of lemon rind
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tbsp salt
water to cover the bird
Plop the chicken in the pot with everything else. Cover with water. Bring to a simmer and skim off the foam. Simmer until done, probably about 90 minutes. Lift the chicken out, and strain the broth. Save it in jars to use! Cook your rice in it! It's good, trust me! Make gravy out of some of the broth, or try this splendid creamy sauce, also suggested by Mr. Beard:
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 cup warm milk
salt & pepper
3 egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream
Melt the butter in a sauce pan, and whisk in the cornstarch, then the milk. Add salt & pepper to taste and cook until thickened (this is bechamel sauce). Whisk in the egg yolks and heavy cream, and heat through, but not quite to boiling. Pour some over the chicken pieces on the platter, and pass the rest.
Serve the chicken on a bed of rice. I added green beans, because there must always be green food with every one of my meals. Poor Thor only got some rice and chicken skin; there was nothing else for a starving little doggy even though his Mom cooked two chickens.
And we will close with a newly tested thing from Ryan's "How to Repair Food" book. I can smell milk getting ready to sour 2 to 3 days before anyone else can. So I got the opportunity to try this "repair" out. If your milk is turning sour (but not yet curdled, YUK!), you can add up to 1 tsp baking soda per quart of milk to return it to sweet. Yes, it does work! Also, if you add baking soda to sour cream, it turns the sour cream sweet for use in cooking. There, I've helped you solve a potential Thanksgiving crisis, and you still have nearly a week before the big day.
Oh, yes, and everyone who's flying in should plan to arrive Tuesday. Dinner Thursday's somewhere between 6 and 7...I can't nail it down closer than that.
Have a great evening!