3-in-1 Chicken Dish for the Cook who has Other Things To Do
I just HATE cooking in the summer. It's hot, you're sticky, and if it's hot enough, you probably aren't all that hungry anyway. So why bother slaving away in the kitchen? says I. Because without reasonably healthy food, your body will start to consume itself and all your hair will fall out, says my doctor.
I know folks who have a barbeque and a varied beer collection might disagree with me, but the rest of you will probably appreciate this. Cook once, but end up with three different meals on the table over the course of a muggy week or a sluggish long weekend: I call it 3-in-1 Chicken (just dripping with originality, I know), and it is both easy and delicious. Mr. Hates-Leftovers Husbee gave it his seal of approval, and so here I am, your personal Mother Teresa of summer cooking.
So: If you need a break from cooking this summer, consider trying this 3-in-1 chicken recipe. For only moderate effort the first day, this yields three days worth of lunches and dinners for 2 people- each sufficiently different to ward off left-over fatigue.
This recipe lends itself to manipulation, so go ahead and put your own spin on it. If you stumble onto a masterpiece, share it in the comments or write your own hub about it and leave me a message so's I can go benefit from your Culinary Genius!
Ingredients for the "Base" Recipe
- Chicken breast, cleaned, in pretty small pieces
- 1 or 2 white onion, diced
- 1 medium or large eggplant/aubergine, washed and diced (keep skin)
- 2 or 3 average size potatos, washed and pretty finely diced (again, keep skin)
- as much garlic as you like, crushed
How to Work the Magic
- So: starting with the "base" recipe, which I usually turn into either a wrap (see the photo below) or use in fajitas. Because it's pretty mild, it will lend itself well to new recipes for the next couple of nights, but if you're worried - or want to make it a little more distinctive - after the initial cooking period just portion out whatever you want to save for later and spice the rest to death.
- To begin with the cookin' portion of the instructions: get a big ol' pot (or big new pot, I suppose - just so long as it has a cover) and heat just a little smidge of olive oil over medium heat. Add the chicken (chopped into smallish pieces for cooking convenience) and cover. The juices from the chicken will supplement the olive oil, so no need to worry. Just start washing and chopping all your veggies.
- I dice EVERYTHING. Again, this is for cooking convenience: the smaller the bits, the faster they cook. And for things like potatoes, which otherwise require rather more time than the eggplant or onion or mushrooms would, this is extra important. Undercooked potatoes have a way of spoiling everything.
- Stir the chickie. Is there much pink? That's rawness. Let it cook a bit more. You want it more or less done when you add the veggies, because after that it's harder to check and I always like to be on the safe side when it comes to meatly food stuffs.
- Not much pink left? Okay good. Add the diced stuff, stir, replace cover. Reduce heat and leave it alone.
- Read a book, listen to a podcast, do an MTurk survey. Approx 15-20 minutes.
- Add spices, crushed garlic. Simmer for additional minute or 2. And there's your base! Rock that. If you want to add special tonight-only spices to anything, now is the time to partition off the food for the following days.
- For the wraps: oven at approx. 150 C. Spoon the chicken etc. onto tortillas, add a little grated cheese, and roll. Optional: Add a little cheese on top. Oven for 5-7 minutes. Done!
- For curry: Reheat. Add graham masala, curry sauce, and maybe some spinach. Done!
- For chicken salad: By the third day, the juices and spices have thickened (I was going to say "congealed, but that's not very appetizing, is it?) into a delicious sauce. Perfect. Add a little cheese of you like, otherwise just dig in!
- And here is where we're usually out of chicken. But I bet there's much more you can do with this. Casserole, anyone? A sort of hybrid Indian/Italian chicken and pasta dish? Let your creativity run wild!