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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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April 24, 2010

A Bottle of Wine, a Rotisserie Chicken and Me

No pictures but thought I'd make an entry anyway.  I get to missing it when I've not posted for a while...

I finally broke down and bought a rotisserie chicken this past Sunday or Monday.  They always look so juicy good and I always think "ooh, I could have it hot for dinner and then use the leftover chicken somehow".  I had been having the craving for 2 or 3 weeks and finally timed it right - not too long until dinner and the chickens were just ready to come out of the cooker.

So, the first night I made some rice and cooked some broccoli and served myself a nice dinner of a leg of chicken, rice with a sauce I made from the juice in the bag, and the broccoli seasoned with some herbal salt January brought me from her trip to Hawaii.  That was pretty tasty and a nice change from my normal meals.  I made enough rice to have some left over and then boiled the bones for some stock.

For my next effort I decided I'd make some of my homemade puttanesca-style spaghetti sauce and put some cut up chicken in that.  My sauce is a little different each time.  This time, I sauteed a minced scallion, one minced mushroom, and some garlic in olive oil.  Then I tossed in about half of a zuchinni and a yellow squash chopped up and let that cook a bit.  I added some chopped up green and black olives and then added a can of tomato sauce and a slosh of marsala, covered it and let it cook down some.  I didn't put the chicken in til towards the end cause I didn't want it to get rubbery.  While all that was going on, I decided I didn't want to have it over spaghetti but would rather mix it with some penne and bake it as a casserole.  So that's what I did.  Only thing is, I had added so much stuff that along with the penne it didn't fit in one of my little casseroles so I put it in two and put one in the fridge.  I sprinkled parmesan cheese on top and popped it in the oven for 20 minutes or so and ate it with some crusty bread.  It was pretty good and so I was able to look forward to having it again.

That's one nice thing about cooking for one - you can have the same thing two nights in a row and not worry about it!  So, the second night I pulled out my saved casserole and thought "I need to give this one a little more oomph".   So I looked around and remembered that I still had some prosciutto from the market in Charleston.  I tore a piece up into strips and laid it on top of the casserole instead of using the parmesan.  Then put it in the oven until it heated through and then put it under the broiler for about 5 minutes and the prosciutto got all crispy and oh, my - it was good!!  Definitely a keeper.

I had used the other drumstick and thigh in my casseroles so I still had all the white meat left.  So I dug some little green beans out of the fridge that were a little aged and chopped them up small, then minced a few baby carrots.  I heated up the stock I had made, made a flour and water paste and whisked some of that into the stock, then put the veggies in with some salt and pepper and let it cook covered til the veggies were tender and it had thickened up quite a bit.  I added some milk and some of the leftover rice and let it cook another while.  I think that was about all I did with it so it was fairly plain, but not bad, really.  Hot and nourishing is how it felt.  It could have used more flavoring but I'm not sure what.  Well, at least some onion - I didn't even do that!  And when I had cooked the bones, I hadn't added anything - no carrot, celery, onion or anything else.  Next time, if I make stock, I'll take more time with it.

So, I still had white meat left and today, I made myself a curried chicken salad sandwich with some of it.  That was tasty too and even though I didn't use all the white meat, it made enough for two sandwiches, so I'll have another one tomorrow, probably.  I saved the rest of the white meat, but to be honest, I don't know that I'll get it used.  I will have had four dinners and two lunches from one chicken, and I'm feeling like that might just be enough. :)

Oh, and here I am, living in the midst of "the Jamie Oliver food revolution" and after I bought my chicken, I looked at the nutrition label mainly to see if they told how it was seasoned.  And, oh my gosh!  What an incredible amount of unpronounceable stuff was listed.  I can't imagine why roasting a chicken would require so many additives, but can only hope that Jamie never learns of my transgression.  (tee hee)

Oh, and a little "cooking for one tip" (which I have lots by the way, if anyone needs any) - I've decided to mostly use scallions in recipes that call for onions.  They're a much better size for when you'll be cutting down a recipe and you don't have leftover onion to contend with.


christopher said...

Oh wow, I'm really hungry now, reading that---I might just go up to Boston Market for some rotisserie chicken now... mm mm!

Mary Lynne said...

And no doubt you'll get the whole chicken and use the leftovers imaginatively, right? :)

vrmichie said...

Do you think when you come to visit you could do my cooking?:) And I'd missed the spring in Huntington pics, but they're lovely. Our spring is looking about the same and I just love it.

rosanna said...

Mary Lynne, thank you very much for your comment and tips. It's been very kind of you to share your time with me. When you are coming to Italy keep in mind that all the counties are beautiful each in its own way. Umbria is filled with misticysm and good food ;o)Liguria has the most gorgeous sea and small hidden villages and the best focaccia. I hope you'll enjoy both. Rosanna

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