I didn’t feel like using a recipe tonight, so I decided to just make this up as I went along.
There’s a yoga instructor that I love named Adrienne. I believe she’s based in Austin. Anyway, Her channel Yoga with Adrienne is the only yoga channel I watch because I once I found her, I stopped looking.
But the reason I bring her up is that she has this phrase “Find what feels good.” It’s a beautiful phrase for yoga, but it also works for cooking.
Recipes aren’t scientific formulas that have to be followed with strict adherence or else disaster will result. There’s so much leeway. And that’s one of the things that I love about cooking.
The last “total inedible disaster” meal that I cooked was hamburger helper three years ago. Even my food that looks unappetizing ends up tasting good.
I think it’s because I have pretty much zero knowledge of culinary science/art. I’m seriously just making this up as I go along. Now just tonight, but like, all the time.
And because I know nothing, I’m not afraid to make mistakes as I figure things out. It’s like with little kids when they’re learning how to talk. They aren’t afraid to say something that sounds stupid—we teach them that later—so they can learn multiple languages while adults struggle to pick up a new one.
I know there are other reasons, scientifically speaking, why kids are better at that sort of thing, but I really think that this one is fundamental. You can’t be afraid of messing up. If you let go of the idea that things have to be perfect, a lot of times, they turn out to be perfect anyway.
Throwing Things in a Pan
Jen Servings: 3 or 4, depending on if there is bread involved
Things to Use
- two pieces of chicken, thawed
- 1/3 cup of chicken broth
- enough beef stock to add to chicken for ½ cup liquid
- 5 baby carrots
- 1 tsp basil
- 1 tsp parsley
- ¼ tsp oregano
- 1/8-1/4 tsp thyme
- olive oil
- ¼-1/2 cup heavy cream
- Shredded parmesan
Things to Do
- Cover bottom of skillet with olive oil and set to medium heat.
- Cover bottom of skillet with onion. Cook for a minute or two and then cover with garlic powder.
- Toss in chicken pieces to brown.
- Pour a 1/3 cup of chicken broth, then reach half a cup with beef stock. Forget how to pour and end up with it all over the counter and floor. That last bit isn’t strictly necessary, but it is good for reminding yourself that cooking isn’t serious.
- Add broth to chicken pan and let it boil. Note: Wine could also be used. Or water. Just make it liquid.
- Add carrots, red pepper, and canned mushrooms with juice. Throw on the spices mentioned above or ones that you prefer. Simmer for a bit. Cover it if you like.
- Remember that you didn’t turn on the burner for the rice. You should do that now.
- Once the carrots are an acceptable level of tender and the liquid is nearly gone. Like fifteen minutes or something, but then, I like crunchy carrots and I don’t mind draining some excess liquid. Turn off heat and stir in the heavy cream.
- Throw it in the cooked rice. Add a dash of shredded parmesan.
Note: This ended up with quite a bit of extra liquid, so you could either reduce the chicken broth/wine/water OR let it cook longer so the liquid boils off OR let it set before serving so the rice and stuff soaks most of it up.
Either way, it tasted awesome.