Another day where I didn’t get to meet my writing goals has passed, alas! Work was crazy busy yesterday morning, and though I did get a chance to make a few comments on some of my favorite blogs, I kept getting pulled away by people who actually expected me to work for my pay. Ingrates! ;)
Then, I got word that we were throwing an impromptu birthday party for a friend last night. At our house. And oh, she requested that I make Chicken Bastiano.
What’s that, you ask?
Ah, how glad I am you asked! ;)
Chicken Bastiano is a recipe I invented a few years back, when I had a bunch of ingredients and no idea what to make for dinner. The Bastiano part comes from a silly place – I’ve mentioned before my medieval pursuits, and within my silly club about clubbing friends, we pick a “persona” to focus our learning interests on. Mine is a 14th Century Spaniard. Well, Italian/Spaniard – there’s a story there that I may go into later. For now, the important thing is that I research my costume and armour based off of what was popular in Spain and Italy of that time period. So when I was inventing this recipe, which was a blend of Italian and Spanish flavors, the name game naturally. ;) It’s very similar to a chicken cacciatore; diced tomatoes, cubed chicken, quartered artichoke hearts, sauted onions and garlic, italian herbs, and a few more spices with a bit of a kick from some green chiles. The whole thing is simmered together, and then served over noodles (I prefer rotinni) and covered in shaved Parmesan.
At the risk of sounding immodest, it’s delish!
It is also the favorite meal of most of my friends. For example, I texted one of last night’s guests to see if she and her husband would be attending the shindig. She asked what I was making. I said Chicken Bastiano. She texted back “OH HELL YES!!!!”
The problem is, we ended up with a guest list of 25 people or so. And me, with a house that was a bit of a mess, and a lot of food to cook. I made the call, took the afternoon off, and went home to prep. All I have to say is thank god for teenagers – or as they felt like yesterday, built in slave labor. ;) The kids did an awesome job of tidying the house while I went shopping and, just shy of a hundred dollars later, came home with enough stuff to feed a small army. I got to work.
Cooking began at 3:00. Tomatoes, spices, artichoke, and green chiles into my large stainless stock pot and on the stove. My electric skillet, heated, got butter and a touch of olive oil. Garlic and onions, minced and sauted, then into the pot. Next, a dozen boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed and seasoned and into the skillet. Water set to boil for the four boxes of noodles. Spices added, chicken finished, added to the stock pot. Everything simmered together till the flavors start to blend. And before I know it, it’s 7:00, the food is just finishing, and the guests are arriving.
It was a great night. Lots of laughter, lots of talking, lots of eating. My huge stock pot, full of Chicken Bastiano? Just enough left in the end to fill a small ziploc container. All the noodles gone. All three gallons of sweet tea, gone. Both gallons of kool-aid, gone. All the garlic bread, gone. All my evening? Gone! ;)
All my guests, full, and happy. The last of them filtered out near midnight.
And the birthday girl? She had a wonderful night, and we were so glad to have hosted it for her.
It was worth skipping writing for.