Sometimes at the end of a very long day, the thought of making dinner makes me want to cry. There are times that I do not have any leftovers to be reinvented, and its too late to order anything and you have hungry eyes following your every move.
Smoked chicken to the rescue.
I will do a post on pantry and freezer essentials very soon - Smoked chicken is a MUST in my freezer at all times. Its already cooked through so very little cooking time is needed and its flavor can be the base of so many things from rice to soups to sauces.
Another staple in my house - potatoes. I like to have 2 types of potatoes at all times - sweet potatoes and another type - can be the local small Irish potatoes or the imported larger Idaho spuds. This means I have options to bake or fry or mash to accompany any sides that I come up with. Plus with a toddler that decides if he is going to eat whatever you put in front of him, chicken and potatoes always go down very little fights.
I love crispy fries and I usually mix sweet and regular potatoes to make things more interesting. My top tip for making potatoes crispy is to cut, rinse and place in bowls of ice cold water and very very hot oil. There will be a lot of splatter when you drop them in the hot oil, so step way back.
To make the smoked chicken sauce, you need as many chopped vegetables as you have at home.
For this night, I used chopped red onions, yellow, red and green bell peppers and a yellow scotch bonnet pepper. You can use frozen vegetables as well if that is all you have at home.
Look at this lovely plump smoked chicken. So sexy.
Rough chop the chicken into pieces.
In a hot pot, add some olive oil. Add the chopped vegetables, a stock cube and some salt to taste. Sautee till vegetables are translucent. Add the chopped chicken and cover the pot. Cook on low heat for about 15 minutes. Smoked chicken is so moist and tends to release its juices as it cooks. That is the base of this easy sauce. Taste and adjust salt if necessary and turn heat off .
When serving simple meals like this, it helps to make plating a little interesting. I also realize that everyone does not have the fancy crockery seen in food pictures. Try using a mug lined with a sheet of sturdy kitchen towel to serve your fries. It looks nice and the kitchen towel absorbs any excess oil from the frying process. It also keeps the fries crispy and away from the saucy chicken. Try mixing ketchup and mayonnaise for a speedy 'thousand island' style dip and place in a little bowl on the side of the plate.