saansaturday: (fornication)
( Thursday, 16 February 2006 16:39)
The concoction I created for dinner last night was yummy. I was already thinking about chicken salad when I went grocery shopping in the late afternoon. V had mentioned that he was in the mood for something with fruit, such as mandarin oranges. I thought I could make some sort of chicken salad, serve it over greens with the mandarin orange slices and perhaps something else as garnish. But on my way to grab the oranges I noticed a display with cans of mango slices. Thinking that V surely wouldn't be opposed to mango rather than orange, I grabbed them.

So the items of inspiration: chicken breasts, canned mangos, walnuts, baby chard.

I started by poaching the chicken breasts in chicken stock which I spiked with ginger, peppercorns, coriander, garlic and onion. Meanwhile I began assembling the salad:

2 green onions, minced
1 can mango slices, mangos chopped, juice reserved
about 1/4 cup mayo
about 1/4 cup plain yogurt
a handful of toasted walnuts (would have been better with almonds, I think)
a fair amount of powdered ginger
a bit of garlic powder
enough cayenne pepper to give some pleasant heat
a bit of crushed red peppercorns
a couple of splashes of rice wine vinegar
mango juice &/or poaching liquid, to taste
salt, to taste

When the chicken was done (after about 25 minutes of simmering in the stock), I cut it into bite-sized pieces, let them cool a bit, then stirred them into the salad. The yogurt I used was seriously thick, and the mangos were very sweet, so I ended up with something both thicker and sweeter than I wanted. I added a few spoonfuls of the poaching liquid to up the chicken flavor and thin it out a bit. Then the chicken flavor was a bit too pronounced, so I added a little bit of the reserved mango juice. I put the salad in the refrigerator to chill for a while.

I served it over the baby chard. It looked so pretty! I really should have garnished with a few green onions or some nuts but I forgot about it. I snapped a couple of photos really quickly--they didn't come out so great but I wasn't interested in taking the time to get a good photo. I was hungry and this dinner was satisfying and so tasty.

one more photo )
I'm coming down with some sort of sore throat/cough/fever/wooziness sickness and this evening I no longer had any desire to eat what I had planned for dinner. I didn't have a lot of ingredients to work with but I came up with a delicious and soothing soup.

3 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup wild rice, rinsed and drained
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup milk
2 Tbsp flour
1 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
about 1/4 tsp. spicy (not sweet!) paprika
about 1 cup sliced ubiquitous brown mushrooms
salt, to taste

Combine the broth and rice in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 40 minutes. Stir in the green onions and simmer another 8 minutes or so, then stir in the mushrooms, thyme and paprika. Whisk the flour and milk together in a bowl or large cup. After another 3 minutes or so, pour this mixture into the soup, slowly, while stirring. Bring back to a low boil and continue stirring until it has thickened a bit.
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