Thursday, 25 February 2016

One-Pot For The Lot (and a plate)

So, you may have noticed by now that I have a great fondness for just seeing what happens when I throw a whole load of tasty ingredients onto the heat. You have? Well good,because here's another example. I just looked at what I had. I knew I wanted to make something warming because it was super nippy outside yesterday - I'm not a socks type girl and I'm pretty confident I couldn't feel my toes a lot of the time - and I wanted to use some of the chicken I had in the fridge. As the title suggests, I even managed to made this dish largely using just one pan (excluding the bowl I used to marinade the chicken and the plate I used mid-way through...oh and the bowl I used at the end.....anyway). This, dear readers and cookers, was the result:

Soupy Chickeny Spinachy Goodness
2 Chicken Breasts
For the Marinade:
Olive Oil
Soy Sauce
Garlic Granules
Mixed Herbs
Salt + Pepper
For the Rest:
Half an Onion
1 Garlic Clove
1 Carrot
A handful of mushrooms (or two or...y'know, however many you want)
Chicken Stock
White Wine

1. Pour a generous amount of olive oil into a bowl, add a dash of soy sauce and however much garlic and mixed herbs you'd like for flavouring, grind in a some salt and pepper and give it all a mix. This dear chefs of mine, is your marinade.
2. Take the two chicken breasts and place them both in the bowl, using your hands to mix them around and making sure both sides have benefited from all those lovely flavours. Cover the bowl (tea towel, t-shirt, mum's favourite serviettes) and leave for an hour or so while you go off and do something else or while you prepare the other ingredients (always a good time-saver and makes you seem all professional too).
3. Chop up the vegetables (onion, garlic, carrot and mushrooms) into reasonably small pieces to add to the dish later. 
4. Heat up a deep frying pan or wok. and once hot, being all skillful and whatnot, tip some of the marinade into the pan as your frying agent. Once that is hot and sizzling, chuck in the two chicken breasts. Once one side has coloured (not too brown), flip the chicken to cook the other side. I sometimes find with quite thick chicken breasts, the best way to get them to cook through quickly is to cut a slit down the middle, either along or across so the heat gets inside more easily. Don't panic too much though.
5. Once the 2 pieces of chicken are reasonably well cooked, take them off the heat and onto a plate. Using a sharp knife (and a fork but not your hands because it's hot silly!) cut up the chicken breasts into strips or chunks, or basically whatever shape and size you want. Once they're in smaller pieces, throw them back on the heat, tossing them around until you can see they're cooked through (but still nice and juicy, no one likes dry chicken now, do they)
6. Now your chicken is cooked, you can put the pieces aside on a plate or on some paper towel. whatever floats your boat really. Keeping the pan on the heat, and still with the juices leftover from the chicken, tip in your onion and stir on a medium heat until soft (not burnt) and then add the garlic. Once these have had a bit of time to heat up, throw in the carrots, allowing approximately 10 minutes more than the mushrooms to get a head start on cooking, and finally add the mushrooms.
7. Now that all the veg are in the pan, spend a bit of time stirring them and moving things around just to prevent anything starting to burn but allowing them to all cook through and soften (have a taste! Yumm). 
8. Once they're all cooking nicely, you can add the chicken back. Give it all a thorough stir and mix it all together. Leave that to do it's thanggg and boil the kettle (no, not for a cuppa, we don't have time for trivialities, we're professional cooks). Once boiled, pour into a cup or a jug and add a chicken stock cube (of course, if you are prepared enough to already have some chicken stock you made earlier, then use that by all means!). Give it a stir, break up the cube and allow time to dissolve.
9. While that's going on, tip in some white wine to your pan (a capful or..three) and allow to evaporate.
9. Once the chicken stock is ready and the pan mixture is all...mixed, tip in the stock so that you're fry-up has become a yummy, chickeny soup.
20. Finally, throw in a generous handful of spinach leaves and allow to shrink and cook in the soup. Keep them moving and submerge them in the liquid to stop them burning and to prevent any raw leafy bits remaining. Check the soup for seasoning. pour into a bowl, and serve.


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