Pantry Challenge, Day 27: Kombucha Chicken, Lentils and Creamed Celery
Over the weekend my husband discovered a box of off brand rice crispies in the pantry, which I’d forgotten we had because we so rarely eat cereal. He was quite pleased with this discovery, and it was good timing because we’re really starting to run low on breakfast food. As you might have guessed, we had rice crispies for breakfast this morning.
I was once again on my own for lunch and I had leftover salmon and cucumber pasta from last night. The cucumber pasta was much better as leftovers than it was the first time around, and I think it might even be good cold as a pasta salad.
For our main dish for supper I cooked chicken breasts in kombucha. Kombucha has worked really well for me before as a sort of glaze for ham cooked in the crockpot, but in the this case I think it would have been better if I’d gone with my original instinct to marinate the chicken breasts in kombucha and then cook them with this method. The skillet method has worked amazingly well the last two times I’ve cooked chicken breast, and by comparison the chicken breast semi stewed in kombucha was kind of dry.
I also made celery gratin, or perhaps just creamed celery. I was originally planning to work from this recipe, but in the end what I made bore almost no relation to the original recipe. I simmered the still kind of frozen celery in white wine to defrost it, made a simple white sauce spiced with basil, mixed together the celery and white sauce and added parmesan. It was actually pretty good, though more like a thick cream of celery soup than anything else.
To round out the meal I made red lentils, cooked them in chicken broth and added lots of spices, especially cumin, turmeric and garlic. I was counting in the RED lentils to make the meal less beige, but I forgot they pretty much turn brown when cooked.
In order to try to compensate for the excessive beigeness of the meal I plated it up as nicely as I could, with half a chicken breast on top of a heap of lentils and the creamed celery in a half circle around it, then sprinkling the whole thing with dried parsely.
It only kind of helped. Still, my husband’s assessment was, “It was like a real meal made from weird ingredients,” so I think that qualifies as a pantry challenge success.