And so it goes: some days you feel like the fire hydrant, and some days you feel like the dog. I’m having a bit of a fire hydrant day myself. I was folding some laundry earlier and I could barely raise my arms overhead. I am sitting typing with little strength (or direction, for that matter) and thinking of how much I would like to eat something. So what is stopping me from getting up and obtaining some much-needed food? Well, for starters, that would be the sheer thought of getting up off my ass. I could very well starve here until I die, but that would probably be messy and not too good for my new tenant. Baby Meow gets cranky when there is no food to be leached out of my system.
It’s a day of tired. And it’s one of those days that makes you feel like you have no life, no friends, and no wish to do anything about the lack of either. Which would commonly lead me to think that I’m depressed, except that I don’t think this is particularly crippling or resembling a disease. I’m pretty sure it will pass, and eventually the hunger pangs will be debilitating enough that I will brave the blackout dizziness and schlep my way to the kitchen for some leftover chicken from yesterday. Which, whenever I think about how good it came out instantly makes me feel a little better and realize that my state, though glum and annoying, is probably temporary.
Ugh. Laundry’s stopped. Okay. Hunger and change of laundry. My boring little world is conspiring to make me get up.
Okay. Laundry changed, cat cuddled and admired for its resourcefulness (she’s stopped chasing kibble and has, instead, started chasing a currant –no doubt from Tuesday’s curry dinner– across the kitchen floor. Please do not focus on the fact that the cat found food residue from two days ago), and am currently enjoying chickenny goodness from last night’s dinner. I am a good cook. I am especially proud of the fact that, although the end result uncannily resembled a chicken fajita dinner, I came up with my own marinade, sauce and way of cooking to deliver those results without the help of a recipe. Perhaps I am oficially becoming more adventurous. Perhaps I’ve just cooked something similar and just supplanted one set of spices for another. If you would like to try Madame’s delicious fajita-looking chickenny surprise, here’s what you’ll need:
Madame’s Chicken Fajita-looking Chickenny Surprise
Serves two, with left-overs for one and a half. Don’t ask.
3 chicken breasts, cut into slightly larger than bite-sized pieces (they will shrink, and we are going after the Chili’s fajita look here…. whose recipe is this anyway?)
3 tablespoons chili powder (though I will not be angry if you use more… it’s your mouth)
1 Jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped (…because I like the flavor, but not the heat. Go ahead, Mister Macho: keep the seeds, but don’t call me to complain)
1 white or yellow onion, chopped artfully into kind of nice segments (or more onion if you are a wonderful person with taste. I prefer the Vidalias or even the Maui ones will do nicely)
1 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp oregano (optional. I just love oregano. I will one day bake a cake with oregano in it. No, it’s not a euphemism for pot)
1 can diced tomatoes (small, not the big huge ones)
1 can tomato paste
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Okay. First off, make sure that you really cleaned the nasty grisly stuff off the chicken. If you have a picky Monsieur for a husband, he will appreciate finding NO cartilaginous or sinewy stuff in his chicken. Once your chicken is spotless and clean and cut into said pieces, sprinkle about 2 tbsp of the chili powder mixed with some salt (about 1/4 tsp worth) all over the chicken, and rub. Make sure the lovely chili color is spread evenly over your pieces, and that you can smell the chili powder goodness. Now sprinkle some lime and the chopped Jalapeño over your rubbed chicken, and make sure that, again, it’s all mixed evenly. Let sit for 10-20 min (or as long as you can without endangering the chicken…. gimme a break, I’m in Hawaii).
Take this small break to clean all kitchen surfaces of chickenny traces. Chicken flesh has Salmonella, and I don’t want you to catch food poisoning. Move it! That way there will be less to clean afterward and you’ll thank me.
After you’re done cleaning well, fire up a large lovely skillet or stock pot (make sure it has a lid) to medium heat and add the olive oil. Say what you will about my snootiness, but olive oil is SACRED. Everything tastes better when cooked with olive oil, and it heats well and evenly. Okay….. in the meantime, you will have somehow found time to chop your onion up artfully (no dicing it up! ART!!!). When the skillet is warmed, you will be lovingly sauteeing said onion over medium heat until it’s translucent but not totally soggy or golden. Sprinkle a little salt over the onion while it sautees. Remove the onion and put in a safe place; add the chicken (with Jalapeños) and fry it up until it’s looking a bit golden on the outside (or until you’re sure all facets of the chicken piece have received some heat). No need to add more oil after the onions are out, by the way.
While the chicken is cooking, mix the diced tomatoes, the tomato paste, some more lime juice (limes don’t have too much juice, so just squirt generously), the cumin, and the remaining 1 tbsp. of chili powder with some salt (a pinch, more or less).
When the chicken is looking goldenish (but NOT overcooked, because it becomes nasty and stiff and no one likes stiff chicken), add the can of diced tomatoes and the tomato paste mixture to the chicken. Incorporate the ingredients carefully (because tomato sauces like to jump up and splatter) and reduce the heat to simmer. Cover. Walk away from your pot o’goodness for about an hour.
Re-enter the kitchen and keel over from how good it smells. Rejoice. Remind your husband that you made up this recipe and aren’t you clever? (Oh wait… you may skip that step, since this is MY recipe!)
Serve with all manner of yummy Mexicanish stuff, such as corn tortillas or salsa or rice or beans or a good salad. Don’t forget to light a candle to me, Saint Madame Meow, for making you feel like a domestic deity for a day.
Repeat whenever your husband feels like eating something “Mexicanny.”
Amazing. I feel much better.