Tuesday, January 21, 2014

chicken and gravy

Is the long arm of the polar vortex stretching across the globe to lay a chilly finger on this archipelago land?  The weather service has called it a tropical depression, but whatever the cause, we've had a bit of winter in Davao.  It's all relative; as New York hits record lows of 4, our chilly temps have hovered at 75.  Please don't cry too hard for us.  But believe me, the reprieve after a scorching December is mighty welcome.

A cool breeze stirs curtains, and memories of comfort food from my mother's kitchen. This cold weather gives me a good excuse to cook up some of our own. One of our favorites is a steamy chicken and gravy, poured over a bed of rice. Can you smell it?

It's not exactly like the chicken and gravy Mum made when I was young; hers had no vegetables, and was usually served over flaky biscuits.  This recipe is a little more savory, and if you think biscuits sound better, we've found that a hearty whole-wheat biscuit is spot-on.

Chicken and Gravy

1/4 cup butter
1 chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped green beans
1/2 cup of flour
2 teaspoons white sugar
1/2 tsp. garlic (or, if you prefer fresh, 2 cloves)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
Shake of black pepper
4 cups of chicken broth, (made with 2 bouillon cubes)
1-2 cups of cooked, cut chicken meat

Melt the butter in a frying pan and toss in all the vegetables. We sometimes add more veggies, or different ones. We've also added  potatoes to make it more hearty for a potluck.  Saute the vegetables in the butter until they're tender.  Add the sugar and seasonings.

Throw in 1/2 cup of flour, and toss to evenly coat the vegetables.  Then stir in the broth, and bring the mixture to a boil. Boil for a minute or two to thicken it into a smooth gravy.  Reduce the heat and add your cooked chicken.

Ladle it over hot rice or biscuits, and feel the comfort...

Cooking, for me, is the emulation of the deity's most essential habit:
to create.
As such, to cook is to worship.
- Patty Kirk

The leftovers (if you have any!) are the perfect base for a quick chicken noodle soup.  Just boil up some extra veggies and noodles in a pot of chicken broth, add the leftovers and a bit more basil, and soup's on!


Judy said...

Better pull out the earmuffs and those winter coats!

Choate Family said...

We, too, have been experiencing your "icy" temperatures and having fun making comfort foods. thanks for sharing your recipe!

us5 said...

right, Judy! ;)

Joanna! are you back?!?!? SO good to 'see' you again!! :)