The first three cookbooks I ever owned were The Silver Palate Cookbook, The Moosewood Cookbook, and The Enchanted Broccoli Forest. Remember those? My copies are so ragged and stained now. I've had them since about 1990 or so — around the time I moved off-campus and had my first real kitchen. All three of them are illustrated with the most delightful black-and-white drawings, and the Moosewood ones are handwritten. I really, really love that simple line art. I wonder if there are any cookbooks being published right now that have illustrations and type design like that. All of the cookbooks I've bought or been given recently are so gorgeously photographed and amazing and I love them. But it's funny how the little drawings in these older cookbooks still inspire me just as much as the pretty pictures in my new books. Makes me want to draw something with a fine-tipped black marker.
Every few weeks I've been roasting four bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (like Ina taught me). I shred the meat and freeze it in separate portions, then make stock from the bones to freeze, as well. I have become someone who has homemade stock in the freezer now. And shredded chicken, ready to go. This has been a really welcome addition to the pantry (the frozen pantry) on nights when I couldn't be less inspired to cook. It's also kind of nice when you when you're somewhere in between: craving something, but feeling lazy. The original recipe for the Silver Palate curried cream of chicken soup has you cooking a whole chicken, waiting for it to cool, etc. This is my version of that, which relies on freezer-pantry stock and shredded chicken. It gave me time to bake another loaf of the no-knead bread.
Curried Cream of Chicken Soup
4 tablespoons butter
2 yellow onions, finely chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons yellow curry powder
5 cups chicken stock
1 handful of parsley, chopped
1/2 cup long-grain brown rice
1 cup (or so) of shredded chicken
1 cup of frozen peas
1 cup half-and-half
Melt the butter in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Add the onions, carrots, and curry powder and cook over low heat, covered, until vegetables are tender. Add the stock, parsley, and rice. Bring soup to a boil, reduce heat, and cover; simmer until rice is thoroughly cooked, about 30 minutes. Pour the soup through a strainer and be sure to save the stock. Put the solids back into the soup pot, add 1 cup of the stock, and puree everything together with a hand-blender. (If you don't have one you can run it all through the food processor in batches.) Add the remaining stock to the puree along with the shredded chicken and peas and heat everything through. Add half-and-half, heat through again, and season with salt and pepper.
We're having a corgi play-date and Andy's making Edwardo's stuffed pizza tonight. I just asked him if he would do a blog post about the pizza and he said yes!!!