Nuttiness

I’m going to start all this with kale, chicken, and wild rice soup. I have been married just over one month and am enjoying a wonderfully creative time in the kitchen. My husband does not cook—unless you count broiling steaks or opening cans of sardines to eat with mustard, crackers, and beer—but he will eat anything except Brussels sprouts and rutabaga. So he’s the perfect guinea pig/victim for these culinary experiments.

I feel I need to precede this with a little bit about myself and what I’m up to. My husband Fred and I are embarking on this marriage adventure a bit late in life—I’m 41 and he’s 46, and neither of us has been married before. One day when Fred sells his paintings for a lot of money I’ll quit my day job and cook all day, but until then I’m hanging on to my medical insurance and retirement account.

But back to the kale. I wanted to start this blog because I wanted to chronicle our first year of married life in food. Nearly every night I cook something new and because I almost never use a recipe, and when I do I always change it, I can’t remember some good things I’ve made lately. So I want a record somewhere, and on the Internet seems safer than inside the demonic innards of this evil Being that pretends to be a computer but was clearly spawned in the pit of Hell.

Anyway, on Thursday I had some chicken thighs and wanted to make a soup because it was chilly here in Atlanta (i.e., below 60). So here’s what I came up with:

–Cook wild rice according to directions, enough to make 2 cups cooked rice
–Sauté 2 medium or 1 large onion in olive oil
–While onion is sautéing, coarsely chop 4 stalks chopped celery. Once onion has sautéed, add celery and sauté a little longer
–Mince 4-5 cloves garlic and chop 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs into bite-size pieces.
–Once onions and celery are tender, sauté everything until chicken thighs are lightly cooked—white on the outside but not brown
–Add about 1 quart stock (I used turkey stock frozen from Thanksgiving. I am lazy so I thaw it by putting it in the microwave on high for five minutes then dump the semi-frozen result directly into the pot.)
–Add salt, pepper, sage, and bay leaf.
–Cover and simmer until your frozen stock has melted and the chicken is done—10 to 15 minutes.
–In the meantime, remove stems and chop the kale—not too fine, maybe 1-2 inch pieces.
–Add cooked rice and kale. Stir up just so that kale has wilted and you’re done.

I served this with grated Parmesan cheese but it did not melt well into the soup. I would either use a very coarser grater or a very fine one next time, or perhaps try a cheese that melts a little better, or leave it off.

Although the whole thing sounds horribly healthy, it was actually pretty good. The wild rice and kale together had a nice nutty flavor.

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