Comfort Food

As y’all know, I like to spend time in the kitchen; I find it very relaxing and also a good excuse to drink a lot of wine. Heck, after enough wine I even don’t mind doing the dishes. But the main reason is that I like food. I lurves it, in fact. I like playing with different flavor combinations, I like the smells and textures and I like wine. Oops, already mentioned that. I also enjoy making things up as I go in the kitchen (my Beloved Bride and Daughter are not so keen on this last point).

But as with all things, one has to be grounded and occasionally circle back to the base from which one sprung. Our folks were basic 50s parents in the kitchen: mom covered day-to-day meals and dad would grill things mostly. They each had their share of hits and misses, as we all do, but one of our mom’s recipes is, for me, enshrined in the Comfort Food Hall of Fame. It covers all the required bases: meat, starch, canned fat, dairy. On a cold winter’s night, well, it’s hard to beat, and as with all true Comfort Foods the leftovers a few days later are divine.

So here’s “Mom’s Chicken”

In a decent-sized roasting pan put 4 split skinless Pamelas chicken breasts, top each with pats of butter, salt and pepper and place in a pre-heated 350 deg oven.

As Pamelas these days run over a pound each these will need to cook for, oh, at least 75 minutes total, so plan accordingly; Code Pink chicken is right out.

Take a nice sized red onion

and chop it fairly well (hurray for Cuisinart!). Melt a couple of tablespoons of butter in a 2 qt sauce pan and dump the onions in and let them sizzle for a little bit

and then get your Murderer’s Row of chicken gravy ready

dump those babies into the pan with the onion and add some pepper and set it over med-low heat so that it will simmer

take oh 4 or 5 goodly sized potatoes and cut them in to 1″ cubes and set those suckers a’boiling

until they’re done and drain

then poor the simmered oniony chickeny gray goo into the pot and let it meld

check the Pamelas and make sure they’re done

and carefully pour the spud/gravy mix atop them into the pan

and put it back in the oven for 10 minutes or so at a slightly lower 325 and get out the sour cream! Don’t worry: it’s “All Natural”

schplop the sour cream onto the exposed areas of the Pamelas and then artistically array it around the rest of the pan thusly

and then put that sucker back in for another 10 minutes of enwarmening

then give each person a Pamela and a big steaming plate of salty-creamy-oniony-chickeny-gravy-y comfort

and save the leftovers for some most satisfying later-in-the-week consumption

True home-style Happiness, Friends.

17 Responses to “Comfort Food”

  1. Gary from Jersey says:

    Try Wegmans gravy and sour cream. Good stuff.

  2. Mr. Bingley says:

    There’s one down in Ocean, right?

  3. Syd B. says:

    OK, so my wife has been on me for years that if she died, I’d be right behind her because I couldn’t feed myself. After such a claim the other night whilst dining with some friends, I proclaimed that I would cook dinner for the four of us this Saturday night. Of course, this offer was made after several glasses of a 2001 Dominus, so I’ve been under considerable stress as I truly struggle to make toast. I’m going to give the Pamelas a go and report back on Monday as to success or otherwise. Many thanks, I think.

  4. Mr. Bingley says:

    Syd, it pretty much cooks itself, and there’s a lot of leeway in the timing, so you should be go.

    I do notice that my calendar is remarkably free this weekend, and by coincidence my usual fee is in fact 2001 Dominus.

    Amazing how that works out…

  5. nightfly says:

    Bings – the Wegman’s on 35 in Ocean is the unofficial Shoppe of Ye Olde Hive. I’m told there’s a commemorative plaque on the premises somewhere, scribbled in crayon on the inner lid of an old cardboard box.

  6. Syd B. says:

    Did I say, Dominus? I meant a fine merlot from “Two Buck Chuck”. It was a January vintage. Thursday, I believe.

    I’ll let you know how Saturday evolves. If it turns out as good as it looks in your pics, my wife may expect such performances every Saturday night and I’m already challenged to maintain her performance demands, if you know what I mean.


  7. Dr Alice says:

    Oh my God. I was going to scream, “Canned gravy?!” But it looks mighty good. I may give that a try this weekend.

  8. major dad says:

    Bing, you usually hit home runs or at least triples alas that’s a weak grounder to first in comparison to your earlier efforts.

  9. NJ Sue says:

    Looks bad, tastes good. A personal testimony.

  10. Mr. Bingley says:

    Just upping my “Man of the People” street cred, m.d.

  11. major dad says:

    THS has made it I think…

  12. Mr. Bingley says:

    Yes, and she seems to remember a slight variation in the recipe.

  13. Mr. Bingley says:

    As I tried to make abundantly clear, this is thick, heavy, creamy rib-stickin vittles completely lacking in flavors that remind one of the hint of lilac-infused truffles that one finds on a calm day in May in Provence.

  14. Dr Alice says:

    I’ve never been one for Provencal lilac-infused truffles. I’m a home-cookin’ gal, and this recipe certainly qualifies. 🙂
    I can’t think of a better dish to eat in midwinter.

  15. JeffS says:


  16. tree hugging sister says:

    THS has made it I think…

    Yeah, like the FIRST and LAST time was in 1982, when opening SOUP CANS (one each cream of chicken & mushroom) (So THERE, Suzette, cherie!) was the sum of my cooking skills.

    And you were STILL gagging, so never again.

  17. major dad says:

    Now I remember…you were at least good at opening cans back then.

Image | WordPress Themes