What do you mean it’s a holiday? I’m at work. People are calling and emailing me, so they’re at work too. But there’s no mail, no banks, and I can’t pick up my library books. Let’s call this what it is – a government sanctioned work stoppage. Bastards. Moving on…
I dropped the husband at the airport yesterday morning for his 15 day trip to UCLA for mysterious sinister pursuits related to the mad sciences. That means it’s just me and the cat, and not too many people to cook for. (Plus, as mouthy as the little bastard is, the cat isn’t much of a conversationalist.)
Against my better judgement, I tuned into the Rachel V. Guy Celebrity Cook-off on Food Network last night. Since the two worst cooks on the network aren’t actually cooking, it’s not as bad as I had feared, but I was seriously disappointed in their choice of “celebrities.” Outside of Coolio, Cheech, and Lou Diamond Phillips (B-list celebs at best), I had no fucking clue who these bitches were.
The most ridiculous part of the whole show for me was when the losers of the first challenge have to do a cook-off to keep their place on the show and every single one of them complained that they were “exhausted” and didn’t want to have to cook again. Bitch, please. You made fucking spaghetti. There was nothing complicated about that meal. I can do it from scratch in 15 minutes, 45 if I want to cook the sauce down a little.
So what was this uber complicated dish that the losers had to undertake? Motherfucking Grilled Cheese. They gave them 10 minutes, which by my estimation was about 4 minutes too many. At the end of the challenge, the fat fuck with kids won because one – what parent doesn’t make a kick ass grilled cheese? and two- the other two couldn’t make their cheese melt and completely fail at toasting bread.
Cheech Marin, the world’s greatest stoner, went home in shame because he couldn’t make a decent grilled cheese sandwich with 10 minutes and the ingredients already laid out for him. Maybe you should just stick to Doritos and the Denny’s Late Night menu, buddy.
Anyhoo… Even though Ken left yesterday morning, I did make a killer meal on Saturday that I think most of you should get a kick out of. Get out those crockpots, kiddies! It’s stew time! The great thing about this recipe is that it makes its own gravy and it can be served with a variety of sides. I’ve done this over mashed potatoes and rice and the leftovers are as divine as the first night. Don’t be intimidated by the pre-cooking. Both veggie prep and sauce/chicken take 20 minutes.
Beer Chicken Stew
4 chicken thighs (bone-in with skin) or chicken breasts (bone-in with skin)
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1/4 c flour
1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced
1/4 cup thyme
3-4 bay leaves
12 oz dark beer
1/4 cup brandy or cognac
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt and Pepper
Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat your olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken, skin side down and sear. Cook 5 minutes per side and remove from heat.
Melt butter in the same skillet and add onion. Cook until soft and golden, about 5 minutes. Add flour a little at a time and cook until golden.
Add the chicken to the skillet in one layer over the onions and add the brandy or cognac. Bring to a boil and baste the chicken with the cognac. Add in the chicken stock, herbs, and all but 2 tablespoons of the parsley and bring to a boil once more.
Transfer to the crockpot. Cover and cook over low heat 6-8 hours. Add cream in the last 15 minutes of cooking. Add salt and pepper to taste and garnish with remaining parsley. Serve over rice, mashed potatoes, or steak fries!