A friend of mine recently sent me this email.
“Just for some fun:
Here is one for you to try. Easy quick and tasty. Cooks up in no time, maybe half hour total time including prep of cutting the chicken
Boneless skinless chicken breast (as many as you need)
Couscous plain (can use Israeli or Lebanese couscous but the regular makes the meal seem lighter)
Small can of sliced water chestnuts
Small can of bamboo shoots
Small can of mushrooms (any variety or fresh if you chose)
Slice the chicken into cubes (I do it length wise and then cross cut for the cubes)
The chicken breasts we get from Sam's are rather thick so they are halved and I think the thinner the chicken breast the better
In a deep frying pan or small pot cook the chicken breast in a mixture or extra virgin olive oil and sesame oil when nearly done mix in the water chestnuts bamboo shoots mushrooms and any other veggie that may appeal to you like baby corn or the likes.
While cooking this mixture, prepare couscous spread couscous on plate and top with the chicken veggie mix.
There is a store selling olive oil and olive oil mixes that just opened up down here. While I like the sesame oil for cooking, they sell a Tuscan herb and olive oil mix that is a good flavor. So I sense that one could experiment with different flavored olive oil mixes and try different flavors.”
To which I replied:
“A couple of chicken things from me:
I do several chicken cube recipes; among them:
A tomatillo/jalapeno/Anaheim pepper chicken wrapped in flour tortillas and put in the oven at high heat covered with jack cheese and once that all gets heated and melted I serve them covered with sour cream and sliced avocado. I guess they are generically burritos. There is always a lot left over and – I am really weird – I like it cold for breakfast.
Chicken curry with jalapenos and whatever green stuff is around at the time: usually asparagus or broccoli, or both. Served on jasmine rice is nice.
And, finally, one I invented just before I left for Paris, I put as many chicken hind quarters as I can fit in a huge cast iron frying pan with a thin sheen of olive oil to brown the chicken. To that end – browning (and cooking) I put the cast iron lid on the pan and put it in the oven at 380 for an hour – or so – I can’t remember for sure. That produces moist falling apart chicken and an amazing liquid that begs to be reduce ( without the chicken) to a - I guess it’s called a roué – to which I add white wine, capers and Dijon mustard and reduce it back down to get the wine non-raw and the roué a little thick. Put that on the chicken and viola you have poulet de Lopez. One salubrious side effect is that the weight of all that chicken, added to the weight of the pan and lid makes the face that I handle the thing with one hand – usually my right one – a test of how far age and arthritis have taken me down the path to oblivion. So far I have been the great one handed chef of 41st Avenue South.
The final thing is I have always bought boneless breasts at Costco. Recently I noticed that they had a separate skinless chicken breast product – tenders – which are those elusive beautiful little strings of chicken breast muscle that always comes loose when you decide to bone your breasts rather than buy them that way already prepared. Actually, even if you buy the fully boned breast you probably have those things frequently falling out of the rest of the breast which leaves you with a bunch of one density and size and shape of cubes, and a small amount of a totally different density and shaped things.
That makes for uneven cooking.
Costco apparently noticed this phenomenon because they now sell those “tenders” as a separate product. For me it is a better solution to my insatiable need for chicken for – other than the hindquarters in the cast iron pan thing – the various chicken preparations I like to do.
They are, as their name might imply, more tender than the rest of the breast and they are less expensive per pound and they come in smaller packages so it is possible to get a meal per package ration that makes more sense to a single person household.
I know, I know; we have things called freezers. But in the best of worlds I try to minimize that artificial intervention into the preparation of my food.”
Then, after some thought, I needed to follow on to this long term friend, with whom I have talked for years and in depth about the weakness that exists at the seams that hold the United States together. I offered the following non-sequitur:
“Something that amazes me is that it doesn’t seem that anyone in the political class there in the good ol’ USA – which is as clueless as the political class here in Europe - is how transportable and transferable is the ISIS model to the various militias that lurk on the edge of things in the United States.
That amazes me, and worries me – a lot.”
The nihilistic desire to pull things down seems to me to be the central motivating force – spiced and laced with the everlasting twinge and twang of unutilized testosterone - in all militias, but especially so with the nut Islamists.
If we could figure out the reason for, and fix it, for that unutilized hormone, I would not be anywhere near as worried as I am.
The fact that that problem has cataclysmic consequences for our 200 plus year old experiment in self government is disquieting.
How nice; how tragic; how stupid.
It is especially stupid since the answer to how to fix the testosterone problem is so obvious.