A Million Miles...

Away, away, away...

This week, while it's gone by too quickly, has felt like a million miles away from work. That's the best present I could have asked for (besides the FANTASTIC box of McPhee goodies I'm still sorting through! Thank you Rooty!).

I finally, after a year, maybe two, reorganized my office so it's a space I can actually work in. I've had time to work on my submissions for the Oregon photo show, do some laundry, clean the house, go to the grocery store, the hardware store, repair a few things around the house, visit family, and cook.

Here's a quick, tasty dinner to go with your margaritas - throw some rice in a pot to cook (I used basmati, but whatever you like). While that's doing its thing, make yourself a margarita (or another) and thinly slice a small yellow onion and cut up a chicken breast or two into evenly-sized chunks (1" cubes or about that). Season the chicken with salt & Mexican spices (whatever's handy) and set it aside.

Throw the onion into a hot pan with a little high-smoke oil (canola or similar). Don't use a non stick pan - they're for sissies and don't allow for caramelization. Caramelization = flavor.

When the onion is translucent (5 min or so), throw in the chicken. Cook that for 5 min or so on high heat - let the chicken get some color, but keep it moving in the pan so it doesn't burn or dry out.

Before the chicken is totally done, once the pan has some nice caramel color in it, deglaze it with whatever tequila you have on hand. Last night I grabbed the Don Edwardo reposado. A half cup or so, and let it simmer for a few.

Take the pan off heat and add a little cream or half & half - all I had was half & half, so to thicken it up a bit, I made a little half & half and cornstarch slurry and added that after the first dose of dairy - blend it well with the rest of the sauce. Check the seasoning & adjust as needed. The chicken should be done after the rice has finished, allowing the rice to further steam once it's off heat.

If I'd had some fresh or frozen veggies, I'd have thrown them in after the chicken, but sadly, haven't been back to the grocery store yet. Instead, we had a salad.

Serve over the rice and wash it down with another margarita. Ole!
Happy New Year's Eve!