Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lazy-Ass Cooking: Chicken Corn Chowder

Today I'm preparing Campbell's Chunky Chicken Corn Chowder. There are two kinds: Original and Healthy Request. Original = good, Healthy request = not so much. Now this preparation should be the simplest of all; Open can, heat soup. But not really. I have a real challenge getting enough protein into “the diabetic” that way.

Always start with a marginally clean electric frypan—which means it's now time to wash it from the last time we made random-sh*t-from-the-freezer.

Having cooked a lot of random-sh*t-from-the-freezer on a previous date, I could see what I had left in there more easily. I found a frozen-solid chicken breast that wasn't dated back to the last ice age. It was raw, but frozen, and fairly recent too. I kind of make it a point to not thaw raw meats in the same manner as an Uncrustable, this I can usually microwave, or more fun, fry/steam/boil from the solid state to a mushy-thawed state—don't forget to add some water, oh, and maybe some salt—or maybe a lot of salt if all you have is that gawdawful unsalted Healthy Request Chicken Corn Chowder. It only takes a few minutes to thaw completely.

The chicken breast doesn't need to be cooked through, just well-thawed. Grab it with kitchen tongs (caution: chicken breast is HOT) and cut it into small bite-size pieces about the same size as a compressed slice of Wonder Bread…or a sugar cube. At this point the chicken pieces can be browned to your liking. I would have added frozen corn kernels at this point, but I found that I was fresh/frozen/canned out of corn. Thought about substituting corned beef.

Chicken browned? Now open can, dump in soup, and a can of corn, which I desired but did not have. Let it heat through before serving it up with the serving spoon that you should have washed at the same time as the electric frypan earlier. Put the serving spoon and frypan aside to cool for washing—on another day.

Lazy Ass Serving Suggestion: This is a cream-style soup, which means it's always better with shredded cheese! Everyone puts the shredded cheese on top of the soup, but then it just doesn't seem to melt. I'm a Lazy Ass, so while I'm waiting for the soup to heat through I put shredded cheese in the bottom of each paper serving bowl. When the soup is hot I spoon it right onto the cheese. This is great in two ways: 1) the cheese gets thoroughly melted, and 2) the hot bottom of the soup bowl is not hard to handle because the cold cheese cools it. Oh, and bonus protein for the diabetic.

Now a little dialogue about the chicken breast:

The diabetic: “Did you add chicken?”
Me: “Yes.”
The diabetic: “Did you get it from the freezer?”
Me: “Um, well, there's plenty more where that came from…and, oh, we don't have to buy cat food any more.”

In hindsight, that would have gone a whole lot better as a punch line if the cat hadn't been sitting right there in his lap very much alive.

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