Stories of the Team Chef (Number Two: Ad-hoc Chicken)

Today was a portentous day in the H2Nica household. Clouds, wind and light rain dominated here in Managua, extinguishing almost any desire for accomplishing anything productive. As dinnertime approached, it became evident to me that we did not have very many ingredients to make anything of value. Enter Ad-hoc Chicken, the chicken of the desperate:

  • First, raid your refrigerator and pantry, discovering only onions, celery, dry asparagus soup mix, rice and four small chicken breasts in the back of the freezer.
  • Defrost the chicken.
  • Slice about one onion and chop about three stalks of celery.
  • Next, get the rice cooking…maybe about 1.5 cups, or so.
  • Throw the asparagus soup mix together with about half of the water the package calls for (thus ensuring a thick sauce) and cook according to the package’s directions.
  • Put some salt and pepper on both sides of each breast.
  • Put some oil in a large skillet and toss in the chicken, onions and celery over medium-high heat.
  • After a minute or two, pour a bit of water in the skillet and loosely cover with a large lid.
  • Cook the mixture for about 20 minutes (10 minutes on each side of the chicken).
  • Make sure to keep a copious amount of celery and onions on top of the chicken.
  • Remove the chicken and pour some of the sauce, onions and celery on top of the breasts.
  • Serve with rice and enjoy!

This serves about four people well. Five (like our team) is stretching it. You’ll probably be hungry before bedtime, so plan for a late-night snack of cookies or cake. I would not suggest ice cream, however.

-Richard Hansen