Saturday, January 17, 2009

break the silence

Hi guys. I've been a little quiet on here for a while. I'll give three excuses, and then quit pussing out and make a post.

1. I've been pretty good about my whole 'try new things' resolution which a careful reader will notice does not necessarily entail that I have been good about trying new good things. Much of my new has been new experiments at home which have been nothing to write home about unless you're trying to make yourself sound pathetic so that your parents will give you money. For example I tried, again, to make potatoes as good as the mojo potatoes *omg delicious!* I had with k at some weird bar in Williamsburg. This time I tried to 'take a clue' from Lodge, whose onion rings had a little cinnamon in them --also delicious!. (Incidentally, did you know that cinnamon, which used to be used in a lot of medicines, is a really healthy spice? It did not translate very well given the rest of the meal and the other spices on the home pots. I do think, though, that with a little work these could turn into something great. I'll keep working on 'em.
2. I am more poor than I've been since I moved to NY. This will change if&when I get paid from last summer, but right now I have been in debt to myself several thousand dollars for quite some time and I am starting to feel very uncomfortable any time I spend money on anything.
3. I am sick right now...which brings me to the topic of todays post: comfort foods for the ill.

Whenever I am sick I complain a lot. Food helps me not complain (unless I have a nose that won't let me smell how good the food around me is ... then I think I am insufferable), if I like it. It also helps me not be sick if it's healthy (or if I think it is, because maybe I am psychosomatic a lot of the time). I try to combine these as much as I can when I'm sick, so when I am no ordering Pizza Hut I make this awesome spicy chicken soup. It turned out well again, and always does, so I will explain it here!

So, there isn't really a recipe ... just some basic guidelines. Here are the ingredients I can remember now, or that I used this time. They change, but the deliciousness never does.
1 box chicken broth.
1 box veggie broth (I mixed the two this time and I was happy with the results. Next time I might try it exclusively with veggie broth. This might seem stupid ... why would you care if you're going to put chicken in it anyway ... (sorry Case, I know you hate that) but boxes of things that were made with animals kind of weird me out less than boxes of things made with plants. I don't know if that is sane or not).
1 bell pepper -- whichever color you like best
a lot of garlic
1 onion -- whatever sort strikes your fancy or is around the house
about a pound or a pound and a half of chicken breast
1 can black beans (please drain the shit out of these. As you do, you'll notice all of these weird bubbles form. They would form in your intestines if you didn't, and that is gross!)
1 jar salsa (hot!)
a bunch of spices.

Okay so step 1. Cut everything up. The chix should be in small enough pieces that as you scoop it up with a spoon you still have broth and other veggies to have a delicious mouthful. Keep in mind that it will shrink a little when you cook, so don't fret over this too much.

step 2. heat up spices in the pot for a very little bit. Until they start to smell good. Some Indian woman on a message board I was reading said that you should do this because it releases the tastes more. I mainly do it because it makes the kitchen delicious and I am more excited to eat what I'll be eating. Here are the spices I use (assume it is a lot if not noted): cayenne, turmeric *just a little, it's healthy and I use it more for the color than anything else*, chili powder, cumin, and then whatever other stuff you like. You can add more later to taste if you want.

3. pour some oil in and simmer the onions for a few.
3.5 add garlic for only a minute.

4. throw the chicken in. make sure it is cooked all the way. No pink!!! If you don't know how to cook chicken do it with someone who does first, or overcook it to make sure that you don't get sick. But, try not to overcook it... it'll still be cooking in the soup for a while and if it's too try it is less delicious. It'll still be good, though, because all of the juices and fat that chickens have that make your body fight disease will be in the rest of the soup. Oh! also, try to get some of the spices on the chicken. It's fun.

5. add the broths, beans, and salsa. Stir it all up real good and let it boil. When it's started boiling cover and simmer. Do this for 40 min. Make sure it's a light simmer though, otherwise the chicken will get too dry. You can stir occasionally and halfway through add whatever other spices you want.

6. Serve and enjoy. If you are super fancy you can add some cheese and broken up tortilla chips to it (they are easy to make at home and really good if homemade ... otherwise you should get those kind they sell around here for tostadas. They are better than your run of the mill tortilla chips and a little cheaper, and you get to break them apart with your hands!)

Okay, I am going to go play tetris attack and forget that I am sick. I will see you all soon I hope!!!

PS another coffee post is on it's way.

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