Sometimes I think I really ought to have a food blog. For example, tonight I made what I think is quite possibly the best chicken soup I have ever had. This is because today at work I freaked out the other Employee Health nurse (the real one, for whom Maaji is really just a pinch hitter) with my coughing. At one point she almost threatened to send me home. I told her that this was worlds better than I had been on Friday. Her only response was a long, deeply skeptical look. As she left for the day, she fixed me with her stern, mother-of-a-teenager eyes, and said, “Go home and eat chicken soup.”
So I did.
Of course, since I’m not really a fan of most chicken soups that come in a can, and I don’t live with anyone who would be even remotely willing to cook for me, that meant I needed to make it first. Luckily I had some split chicken breasts in the fridge, so I didn’t need to go grocery shopping. So I pulled out my karahi, poured a little vegetable oil in the bottom, and browned my chicken.
While that was turning a golden brown, I sliced up the shallots I got in my organic foods box a while back, and the remnants of a bunch of celery that had been dying a slow death at the bottom of the fridge. When I took the chicken out, those went into the pan to brown, along with four or five sliced up cloves of garlic. Once those were starting to brown a bit around the edges, I poured in a good glug of lemon juice, and deglazed the pan, making sure to scrape up all the lovely brown bits on the bottom. Then the chicken went back into the pan, and I poured enough chicken broth over everything so that the chicken was mostly covered.
Then I just let it cook on the stove until the chicken was cooked through, and the liquid had reduced a bit. About halfway through I started a pan of rice, and when the rice was done, I had dinner: chicken soup with rice. Perfect for a girl who’s being persecuted by Employee Health nurses.
Now, see, a food blogger would have that recipe written out in great detail: exactly how much lemon juice (1/2 c? maybe 3/4?), how many chicken breasts (four, just for the record), precisely how much chicken broth (one box, plus whatever was left in the box in the fridge), how long the soup cooked, etc. Plus, and this is really the important part, they would have taken gorgeously lit, flawlessly composed and styled pictures of every step, plus a money shot of the finished product that would have every viewer drooling like a teething toddler with a graham cracker.
Yeah, that’s never going to be me. I mean, I’ve taken some pretty pictures in my day. But I don’t have the lighting, and I don’t have the patience to do that when I’m hungry and it’s time to eat. Plus, I have a hard time caring about measurements and precision as deeply as most food bloggers seem to care. This is why I so rarely have precise recipes, but more formulas or algorithms to follow. I’m the bane of every novice cook’s life: the experienced cook who tells you to add flour until “it looks right.” I think this is why my one experiment in food blogging died pretty quickly. It was a nice idea, but I’m just not that girl.
And now that I’ve eaten my chicken soup, and written about my chicken soup, I think my work here is done. I’m going to bed. Maybe when I wake up I won’t be coughing anymore.