Thursday, August 03, 2006

Big Bomb dropped, no Survivors

One dinner.

4 pounds of chicken thighs.
4 pounds of potatoes.
6 ears of corn.
8 cups of chicken broth.

Those were the main ingredients. I didn’t count the onions, garlic, herbs and spices.

4700 calories. 144 grams of fat (yikes! who knew corn had so much fat!). 475 grams of carbs.

And it’s all gone! None left!

The big calorie bomb was dropped. And not one calorie survived.

Now, it was good, I’ll grant you that. A nice rich corn flavor, the oregano and garlic adding a pleasing depth. And most people enjoy a chicken based soup or stew on occasion, especially since the heat wave broke and it is again cool in the evening. A welcome change from some of the recent menus motivated primarily by heat avoidance, so it was fun to make.

And I’m not saying that we all ate the same amount.

For example, TeenGirl had about ½ of a thimble full of food. Maybe. She’s on the Kate Moss diet plan, as it’s summer and bikini season, and the beach and sun and boys. And no one else is getting fat around here. Not by any stretch of the imagination.

What I am saying is that TeenBoy represents a bottomless pit into which no amount of caloric intake will suffice to fill it up. So I figure he scarfed down about half of this bomb. For a 2350 calorie dinner, with over 235 grams of carbs. No South Beach dieter he!

It’s frightening.

This dinner performance comes after finishing off an entire box of cereal and associated milk in the late afternoon hours after his football practice and before dinner.

He’s on the Sumo diet plan.

And not one molecule of fat (lucky @&#!* - well, we were all young once). I guess it’s all going to maintain his upward growth spurt as he now threatens to overtake me as the tallest one in the house.

I used to eat about as much as everyone else combined at dinner. Not that I eat so much. But for years and years, I could estimate how much dinner to make based on how much I figured I would eat, times two.

No longer. Now that would barely be enough for TeenBoy. None left for the rest of us.

What I liked about this dish, aside from the fact that the flavor was nice, and that it apparently sated TeenBoy’s appetite long enough for him to last till breakfast (another box of cereal plus milk), was that the whole thing is made in a single pot. You get a lot of flavor for a modest effort and very little clean up.

Chicken, Corn, and Potato Stew
Recipe by surfindaave
Serves 6 normal people, or 2 teenage boys

4 pounds chicken thighs
Olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large white onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp fresh oregano
1 bay leaf
1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and grated
8 cups chicken broth
3 pounds red potatoes, cut into large cubes
6 ears corn, kernels removed from cobs, cobs reserved
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
green onions, sliced into thin rings, for garnish

Pat chicken dry and season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Heat olive oil in a wide, heavy 7 to 8-quart pot over moderately high heat, then brown chicken in 2 batches, skin side down first, turning occasionally, about 10 minutes. Transfer chicken as browned to a plate. Pour off all of the chicken fat.

In the same pot, heat some olive oil over medium heat, add the onion to pot, along with oregano, bay leaf and 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper, and sauté, stirring, until light golden, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add the grated potato to the pot. Add back the chicken and the broth. Simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes.

Transfer chicken with tongs to a cutting board to cool. Add the cubed potatoes to the pot. Simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until cubed potatoes are almost tender, about 10 minutes. Add corn and cobs to the pot and simmer, covered, until tender, 5 to 10 minutes more. While corn is cooking, remove skin and bones from chicken and coarsely shred meat. Remove the cobs and the bay leaf from the pot, and add meat and heat through. Serve with garnishes, if desired. Enjoy!

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