Whats in your cupboard?

Many of the meals I make are inspired by whats available and what is fresh. I’ve blogged before about wandering through Whole Foods and creating a dish on the fly. But I know, sometimes, when we don’t have time for that, it’s easy to buy something prepared, canned or frozen. Yet with these purchases inevitably comes a fair amount of disappointment. This is one of the reasons I’ve challenged myself over the years to be inspired by the cupboard.  The other night, I walked home as I have done so many nights before rambling to myself about what I was going to make for dinner. I knew I had a whole chicken in the fridge as well as some leeks and carrots but with the exception of roasting the chicken or making chicken soup (two things I had done fairly recently), I had nothing. When I got home I scowered the fridge for a few more ingredients but nothing really jumped out at me. That is when I turned to my cupboard. I decided to break down the chicken into individual servings and go from there. I made a delicious braising liquid out of leeks, carrots, crushed tomatoes, red wine and a bit of honey (the last three ingredients are items I seem to always have). Braising the chicken is fairly foolproof. (The meat not only absorbs the flavors of what it is cooking in, but it also absorbs the moisture rarely resulting in a dry and overcooked meal.) But what was I going to serve with the chicken? I grabbed a few more ingredients from the shelves and pretty soon I had a full dish. Rather than being left disappointed, my expectations were exceeded…The point being, although convenience is certainly important to us, with a little creativity and some of the staples we almost all have, a cheap, delicious and healthful meal is always possible. Feel free to leave comments with some of the cupboard inspired dishes you’ve created…

Red Wine Braised Chicken over Farfalle with String Beans, Pine Nuts, and Olive Oil

Braised Chicken

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One Response to Whats in your cupboard?

  1. smg says:

    my cupboard contains 50 takeout menus and your number.

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