February 14th 2013 |
Simple Meals for Gentlemen: No.2 The 30 Minute Chicken Stew
You’re a gentlemen of the world. You’ve got no time to actually cook anything more difficult than beans on toast, and we dare say that if that foul temptress Aunt Bessie sold beans on toast, that is what man would eat from this day to extinction.
However, when you’re cooking for another person, you’ll never get away with beans on toast or Heinz tomato soup every day of the week, even though they are heaven-sent foods of the gods. As we have said before, a little bit of imagination and NO ACTUAL EFFORT reaps endless rewards.
As Delia Smith (aged 71) says just before she slips into the Norwich City team bath – why do the fancy stuff when you can cut corners?
Consider this conversation:
Gentlewoman: “I say, Gentleman, what are you cooking tonight? Say ‘Beans on Toast’ and you’re sleeping on the sofa.”
Gentleman (you): “Why, Chicken Stew, actually.”
Now, go out and but these things: Instant chicken gravy. Instant chicken stock. One bag of casserole vegetables (preferably with potatoes), one small pack of button mushrooms, and – here’s the killer – one packet of Quorn chicken chunks.
Yeah, Quorn. Nobody’s got the time or inclination to dice and cook actual chicken and worry about getting food poisoning because you don’t know what you’re doing. By the time it’s all cooked, not even you will know the difference.
Just pile it all into a large pan, add a mixture of stock and gravy just up to the top of the ingredients and boil for thirty minutes. The advanced student might want to add Evil Aunt Bessie’s dumplings near the end (we’ve seen Aunt Bessie’s dumplings on a speed dating night that went horribly wrong, and believe me, we’re scarred), or – for extra luxury – cook-in-three-minute Yorkshire puddings.
Reap the rewards.
Gentlewoman: “I say, Gentleman, this is spiffing.”
Gentleman: “Yes, and I cooked it myself.”
Gentlewoman: “Just thought I’d let you know that my Aunt Bessie’s dropping round later. Some cur stole all her clothes, and I said you might want to give her a hand with her dumplings.”
Gentleman: “Oh I say!”
From the wine cellar: Forget the wine. Ten bottles of Newcastle Brown will nail it.