My First Chicken

Today I cooked my first free range, organic chicken and it was amazing.  To be honest, before this I’ve never even cooked a whole chicken.  I followed this recipe over at Local Kitchen, with only minor adjustments.  I used fresh sage, rosemary, and thyme and just regular milk.   I even had to chop off it’s neck.  It sounds a lot worse than it was.  I honestly was gearing myself up for it the entire day before, but the chicken and I made our peace and it came off quite easily.

So the consensus?  It was good.  Really good.  The main difference was the texture of the meat and the durability of the bones.  You’re eating muscle that was actually used.  It really makes you realize how bad the other chickens must be if you can break their bones in half with your bare hands.

I wish I could show you a pretty picture of this after it was plated with an amazing cauliflower puree and delightfully rich gravy, but it was devoured within seconds of hitting the plate.  I’m surprised we even used forks.


Rice Pudding

There are two stories I can tell you about this recipe.

First, this was the first recipe I searched for that led me to Simply Recipes, which is by far my favorite recipe website.  Seriously, every recipe I’ve tried has been amazing.

The second story leads to why I was searching for rice pudding recipes in the first place.  I am a “down in the dumps” eater.  When I’m having a bad day, all I want is something warm, comforting, and probably bad for me.

On your average, some-guy-at-work-told-me-I-sucked-today days, my go-to comfort food is those pull apart and bake yourself cookies.  At my old job, I ate a dozen every single night.

Today was not one of those days.  Today was the type of day where the house is a mess, there’s no food in the house so I have to go grocery shopping, I have nothing to cook for dinner, the animals are hungry and bored and won’t leave me alone, Barnes and Noble customer service sucks, here comes another monstrosity of a cold sore about to take over my lip, I spilled sweet and sour sauce all over the place, “Please, Samus, can you stop bringing frozen poop balls into the house because you think they are rocks!!!”, and I yelled so loudly at Zangief for jumping on me that he got scared and ran away… and then I felt like the worst dog mother in the world.

Today, was a serious “I need comfort food” day.  Rice pudding takes a little effort, but it’s totally worth it.  It is the ultimate comfort food.  It’s like giving yourself a hug from the inside.  Cheesy?  Yes… but true.  I like mine warm with raisins.

Rice Pudding
All credit is given to Simply Recipes

2 1/2 cups whole milk
1/3 cup uncooked short grain white rice
Pinch of salt
1 egg
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup raisins

To Make:
In a medium sized, heavy- bottomed saucepan, brink the milk, rice, and salt to a boil over high heat.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the rice is tender, about 20- 25 minutes.  Stir frequently to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together egg and brown sugar until well mixed.  Add a half cup of the hot rice mixture to the egg mixture, a tablespoon at a time, vigorously whisking to incorporate.

Add egg mixture back into the saucepan of rice and milk and stir, on low heat, for 10 minutes or so, until thickened.  Be careful not to have the mixture come to a boil at this point.  Stir in the vanilla.  Remove from heat and stir in the raisins and cinnamon.

Serve warm or cold.