So there was this chicken.

A lovely plump specimen from Pat. And we roasted it in our usual manner (spatchcocked, with thinly sliced lemons slipped under the skin, Herbes de Provence and salt and butter rubbed over the skin, high heat, cast iron skillet). I made a rich sauce in the same pan used to cook the bird while it rested on a platter, and that was meal one.

Dinner:  December 13, 2008

Then on Saturday, there was a soup. Midnight beans delivered just that day from Rancho Gordo, lots of smoky seasonings, and a couple of handfuls of leftover chicken from earlier in the week. Meal two, a hearty success.

Then Sunday. The smell of stock filled our home – the backbone and wing tips reserved from the spatchcocking, bones and trim left over from the roasting, all went into our biggest pot with goodies from our freezer veg stock bag, a bay leaf, a handful of sea salt, and water. Several hours later, we had a quart plus two cups of rich golden chicken stock – it always amazes me how those throwaway odds and ends render something so lovely.

We had discussed a pot pie with a biscuit crust for dinner, but our resident pastry-maker was tired after a day of tackling other projects, so I made my standard pot pie “guts” – a variety of veggies, cut small, sautéed in a mix of butter and olive oil, flour sprinkled on and cooked a bit, then three cups of that fresh golden stock added, along with the remainder of our reserved chicken, more herbs, and a pinch of salt. The whole thing cooked until reduced and thickened, peas and green beans from the freezer went in for the last few minutes of cooking, chopped parsley to finish it, and then I ladled our creamy stew over buttery mashed potatoes. We barely missed the crust.

Dinner:  December 14, 2008

I’d say that little bird served us well.

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