Tuesday, December 6, 2011

when all the elements come together


Sometimes everything comes together perfectly to make food taste especially good.  A lot of factors come into play, in addition to the actual cooking process.  Sure, the freshness of the ingredients, and the skill of the cook, are important, but what about the current barometric pressure, the phase of the moon, the way the stars are aligned?  A lot has to do with the current state of your body: when you last ate, how well you slept the night before, what hormones are running around; not to mention your mental state, or what you might be drinking with the meal, and who with.  So, on these delightful occasions, when all the elements come together, food tastes monumental.  These things don't effect you?  Oh, they do, and more than you might think.

Speaking of tasting good, here's a simple recipe for chicken stew I've been making every week since October.  Toss a package of bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 6 large) into a 9 x 13 baking dish.  Add whatever veggies you have on hand, chopped large.  (I usually use cabbage, carrots, leeks, several cloves of garlic), a few cups of white wine, sage, thyme, (fresh herbs are always better) salt, and freshly ground pepper.  Bake low, about 275 for several hours, until cooked down, tender and golden.  You're gonna love this, regardless of the elements.

"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best," 
and then he had to stop and think. 
Because although eating honey was a very good thing to do, 
there was a moment just before you began to eat it 
which was better than when you were, 
but he didn't know what it was called.” 

 A. A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

click to embiggen

36 comments:

  1. looks yummy :)...and I love it when the stars align perfectly with a meal...

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  2. The perfect chilly night dinner. Bliss.

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  3. A friend of mine used to do something very similar. He called it 'Chicken Thingy'. It was always good!

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  4. I love "Chicken Thingy"...I'll start calling it this...

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  5. oh I am in chicken heaven... I actually had this last night, so I know how good it tastes... with left overs for lunch with a salad today!... good times xx

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  6. Dom, this Chicken Thingy is inspired by you...thank you, dear friend!

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  7. wow....thanks.....i needed this

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  8. mon pleasure, although now i'm going to call in Tess' Chicken Thingy from now on x

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  9. What I like most is the crispy topping to the chicken.

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  10. Dom, I am very honored...giggle!

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  11. This is what we call "comfort food," and for a reason. Just looking at the picture provides comfort. Yummy!

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  12. Can I come over for dinner? :-)

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  13. So, I know what I'm going to make for supper tomorrow, looks fab.

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  14. you are so right about all the elements that come together to make a meal fabulous. this stew sounds so easy and delicious. will jot down and try.

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  15. Any way you slice it, Tess--under sun or moon (I prefer moon--grin!) I swear to you I could smell and taste that cooked dish right here--right now.

    And i do not live next door. or I'd volunteer to mow grass or chop wood, to get a dish of that now and then. Ummmmm!

    PEACE!

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  16. Looks lovely Tess!

    Just add dumplings for me please. We are very cold at the moment!

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  17. This looks great! I am so hungry...and 2 more hours until dinner. Just had some boring fruit for a snack at work.
    I wish I could reach through the screen and grab the plate : )

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  18. Whooooooaaaaaah yeeeaaaaAAAAHHHHHH!

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  19. Well, I think anything cooked low and slow and served next to creamy mashed potatoes can't be beat. You have given me inspiration, no matter what phase the moon is in. Hormones? What are they? Oh yeah...I remember!!

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  20. Mmm yummy!! I'm in Singapore in the broiling heat and still desiring this autumn-winter chicken recipe! That's how good it is :)

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  21. good that I am having a good dinner here, or i might loose my appetite and instead yum on that... LOL!

    JJRod'z

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  22. I haven't the least doubt that it is truly scrumptious ! Could you send some by FedEx over here ???
    :-)

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  23. Steve, mow grass, chop wood? Get over here... Do you shovel snow, as well?

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  24. Owen, I've got a dish of of coming...packed in dry ice...

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  25. Yum! And is there plenty of garlic in the mashed potatoes?

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  26. I am just going to sit and look at this lovely plate for awhile okay???
    Oh the deliciousness of it!!!!

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  27. I love chicken — necks, legs, gizzards, livers, hearts, breasts, but not the thighs. I suppose you could make this with white meat couldn't you.

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  28. Yeah, Abe, you can make it with breasts for white meat, but the thighs are what make it nice and juicy...giggle...

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  29. this is what"s for dinner tonight at my house! Thanks for the recipe, Tess!

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  31. Hello Tess

    Looks good~will have to try this soon!

    Thanks for sharing

    Best
    Tracy :)

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  32. Your food photography is always so sumptuous! You really have a gift. And I love that Poo quote.

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Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)