When the cupboards are getting bare, I usually have onions and celery in the house. They keep for a long time and do wonders for anything they are added to.
If you are not sure what to keep on hand for those days you do not want to go shopping (that would be me), or, it is just that time of the week when you generally run out of ingredients, put 3 things on your list of staples; onions, celery, chicken broth, OR, good quality bouillon cubes. If you have these few things, you will never be stuck.
I buy a really great vegetarian bouillon cube which has herbs and sea-salt added. In a pinch, they are all I need to pull together a soup or stew-like dish. They also make a great base for various pasta sauces (will be posting about this wonder-cubes in my pantry section tomorrow!)
Yes, it is also a good idea to have a couple of chickens in the freezer, and a stock of canned goods such as plum tomatoes.
It is also worth mentioned that this dinner costs pennies to make.
Last night I put all my stables to the best possible use and whipped together yet another amazing chicken dinner! It took little or no effort on my part and the flavors were not compromised. I give all the credit to a few sticks of celery and a couple of onions.
You Will Need: 3 1/2 lb whole chicken, 4 big celery ribs, including leaves, sliced, 2 medium onions (yellow or sweet), large dice, 2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tbs unsalted butter, 3 sprigs fresh thyme, 1 14oz can plum tomatoes, including juices, 2 cups chicken broth (or, 1 good quality veggie or chicken bouillon cube & 2 cups of water), 1/2 cup heavy cream, sea-salt and freshly cracked pepper to season chicken.
Preheat oven 425*
1 – Put heavy-lidded casserole on medium heat on stove top and add butter and oil. Add the onions and celery and cook for 15 or so minutes. add the cream, tomatoes, thyme, and broth and bring to a simmer.
2 – Lay the whole chicken on top of everything and spoon some of the juices and greens over the skin. Place the lid on your pot and place in the oven for 70 to 75 minutes.
3 – Transfer chicken to a plate and cover for 10 minutes to rest and cool down a little.
This dish has lots of yummy broth so serve in shallow bowls giving each person a big piece of their favorite part of the chicken. You can also serve it along with rice, pasta or crusty bread.