Cooking for One, It’s the Cleanup that’s the Rub

The menu was a simple one, but balance was the intent.

There was a boneless chicken thigh marinated in olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and oregano. The last time I bought a bunch of thighs, I boned and marinated several and individually froze the portions. All I did today grab the one I let thaw in the fridge overnight.

Medium grain sticky rice works just fine for risotto and there was stock available from the last batch of thighs I had poached. In anticipation, I had washed and drained the rice earlier so it had a chance to dry. Not much to do now but finely chop a bit of onion and dip into the crushed garlic in the chiller door. A block of Parmesan was available as well as a bit of lebne for the finish. The stock was heated in a one quart pan kept just for such small jobs.

There had to be some kind of veg, and there is usually cabbage in the crisper, so steamed with vinegar would easily fill that menu spot.

The cook was neither difficult nor too elaborate. Risotto of course always takes time, but that is really not the problem.

The unsalted stock went on the stove first to heat. After a quick fine chop, onions in the 8 inch SS skillet to sweat in olive oil, followed by the rice. Once the rice was translucent, in goes the first of the stock and constant stirring with more hot stock till done. Easy peasey.

About halfway into the risotto time, marinated chicken goes into the 9 inch SS skillet to brown on one side, about four or five minutes and then a quick flip and into the pre-heated 350° oven to finish.

A bit of water in the 1.5 quart pan, covered, and onto the third burner to a boil as I chopped cabbage. As soon as the water was at a fast boil, into the pot with the cruciferous veg.

All the while, the risotto cannot be forgotten. It needs near constant stirring to get the correct texture and must be allowed to almost completely dry out before more stock is introduced. When it is almost done, a healthy portion of Parmesan is grated and mixed in with a spoonful of lebne to finish.

After about 30-35 minutes total, all is completed and the chicken is quickly chopped on the cutting board and served atop the rice with the pan juices drizzled over the chicken and the cabbage.

The cleanup, that is the freaking issue!

  1. Cutting Board
  2. Chef Knife
  3. 1 quart pot
  4. 1.5 quart pot with lid
  5. 8 inch skillet
  6. 9 inch skillet
  7. cooking spoon
  8. spatula
  9. teaspoon
  10. fine Parm grater

I forgot to add the (11) strainer used to wash the rice a few hours earlier and left in to drain dry. Not to mention the (12) large bowl for service, plus a (13) fork.

Cooking is something I genuinely enjoy doing, more for others than for myself especially if they are responsible for cleanup.

As I am sure I have mentioned before, I really would love to have a galley slave. Contact me if you wish to interview for the open position.

Cooking for One, It’s the Cleanup that’s the Rub

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