One of the things that I often have to contend with in my kitchen, particularly after a shoot, is what to do with all of the leftovers and odds and ends in the fridge. I hate to waste food. In fact, it bothers me at a cellular level. I often feed my extended family, my neighbors, friends who have office jobs and their co-workers…basically whoever will take the food off my hands. Even with all of these outlets, I still end up with all manner of things in my fridge that need to be eaten or more often re-purposed. I realized lately that I have evolved into a different type of cook. One who more often than not reuses ingredients and makes things from the scraps. I’d like to think I’m like the artist who uses found objects to create rather than starting with fresh, new materials.
So, after a discussion with friend recently about how to re-incorporate recipes into this space…something that has been sorely lacking…I want to introduce a new recurring feature called…Reclamation Recipes. I will be posting recipes that I concoct out of what is in my fridge after a shoot. Should be fun.
RR# 1: Odd’s & End’s Chicken Soup
At the end of the week I always seem to be left with a mish-mash of things in the vegetable crisper…2 carrots, a leek, a couple of celery stalks…This time I also had a poached chicken breast and a handful of small Yukon gold potatoes. Realizing this stuff had about another day of life in the fridge before their replacements arrived from Fresh Direct for the next round of shooting, a chicken soup was in their future. Here is how I put it together but you can substitute, add or delete items based on what you have in your fridge. No protein? Vegetarian? Vegan? Add a can of beans instead of the chicken.
2 Tbs. Olive oil
1 large Onion, diced
2 large Carrots, diced
2 Celery Stalks, diced
1 large Leek, halved lengthwise then sliced thick
4 cloves of Garlic, smashed and peeled
6 small Yukon Gold potatoes
1 poached Chicken Breast, diced
Bouquet Garni of parmesan rind, thyme and parsley tied with string
1 Qt. of Chicken Stock
Salt and Pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium high heat and add the onion, leek, carrot and celery. Saute, stirring occasionally for about 7 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften and add the garlic, salt and pepper. Saute for an additional minute.
Add the stock, the potatoes, chicken and the bouquet garni and bring to a boil. Lower heat to bring pot to a simmer, cover and cook over low heat for about an hour or until potatoes are starting to fall apart. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.