I'm a practitioner of elegant frugality. I don't feel comfortable telling other people what to do, so I just try and lead by example. – Amory Lovins
|Feed three with one chicken leg with attached thigh, elegantly.|
My late Great Aunt Hilda used to tell a story. One time she and my other great aunt, Nettie, were visiting friends in Shelburne and they stayed into dinnertime. The host said she could certainly feed them all. It was a roast chicken.
When Aunt Hilda was served, what was on her plate? A chicken wing. I can remember her telling that story many times. She was a bit hungry afterwards, apparently. No McDonalds in rural Nova Scotia at that time (the 1960s-70s) to stop into on the way home either.
I'm hoping she would be proud of me with this frugal dish. I’ve turned a leftover leg of roast chicken into a meal for 2, or even 3 in a pinch. Staying for dinner, Aunt Hilda? Wish she could.. she has been gone for nearly 20 years...
It’s quite easy to stretch a meal. All you need are the proper fixin’s to bulk whatever you're preparing up. It's not so much about small portions, but knowing what to add. Mushrooms, chard, onion, rice in this case... All in a velvety sauce.
When I first started to cook (about the time Hannibal was attempting to cross the Alps) I used to make a dish called Blanquette du Veau (Blanket of veal). This is a take on that dish, with a lot of departures.
If you have a little leftover chicken, as one often does after roasting, tuck some aside to try this recipe. It’s a great way to stretch a little bit to go a long way.
Blanquette du Poulet*
Prep: 10 min | Cook : 15 min | Serves 2-3
1 lg chicken leg and thigh, pre-cooked
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion
6 white mushrooms
1 cup long grain white rice (or basmati)
2-1/2 cups chicken stock
3 tsp fresh lemon thyme (3/4 tsp dried)
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
1 tsp cracked black pepper
2 cups chopped Swiss Chard
1 egg, mixed with 3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
Slice the mushrooms and dice the onion. Heat the oil in a stock pot. Sauté the mushrooms and onion until slightly browned.
Remove the meat from the chicken leg and dice. Add to the pot.
Stir in the rice, stock, lemon thyme, salt and pepper. Cover and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to simmer, and let cook for 10 minutes.
Add the chopped chard and stir in. Then remove the pot from the heat.
Mix the egg and milk together very well. Pour the mixture into the rice, stirring constantly. Stir in the chopped parsley and serve.
*To "gild the lily", stir in 1 tbsp of brandy or cognac with the egg and milk.
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