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Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Post the Second (in which our heroine contemplates a return to the workforce)

So, a bit more background - I was working in a soul-sucking, going-nowhere job that involved a 160km round-trip every day, for shit money and no respect.  So, I had the bright idea to pack it in - in the middle of a recession - with nothing else lined up.  What could possibly go wrong?  I ended up taking another job, 5 minutes from home, with a German discounter who shall remain unnamed.  Unfortunately, it turned out to be even more soul-sucking and respectless than the old job, so I lasted, ooh, around a month, before I packed it in.  Believe me, I'm not workshy, but this place was like a cross between an industrial school and a gulag.  Not for me, thanks.

So, my lovely recruitment agency lady came back from her holliers yesterday and rang me about a temp admin. job in Tallaght that's available for an initial three months.  The money is absolutely pants - 15c an hour more than I was getting at the National Socialist Discount Store, which would be more than subsumed by the fuel costs of commuting to Dublin again - but €12 an hour is better than nothing, right?  I told her to submit me anyway, but in the meantime, I can remain hopeful that a vacancy as G.R.R. Martin's proof-reader or as a professional first-class airline service reviewer lands on her desk.

In other news, dinner last night was raw-ver tasty.  You simply take these:

And turn them into this:

Ok, so I added the carrots after the first photo was taken, and I'm not exactly the Mario Testino of food photography, so sue me.

Creamy Dill Chicken with Dressed Potatoes & Braised Carrots
- serves 2 (Thanks to my friend C for the potato recipe!)

2 chicken fillets                                        125ml chicken stock
125ml white wine                                    1 tbsp flour
125ml cream                                           Salt & pepper
2 knobs of butter                                     4 tbsp olive oil
Large bunch fresh dill, chopped               Enough new potatoes for 2 (depending on how greedy you are!)
Bunch of scallions, chopped                    3 tbsp capers, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon                                      1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tbsp olive oil                                        4 carrots, julienned
Dash of white wine

It'll be come increasingly (and often frustratingly) clear over the course of this blog that I don't really "do" quantities.  I'm really, really going to try, but don't go writing me any stinky emails about exactly how much is in a bunch or a glug, cause I won't answer 'em.

1)  Melt 2 tbsps of olive oil and one knob of butter in a pan over a medium-high heat.  Season both sides of the chicken fillets with salt & lots of pepper, and fry for 5 minutes on each side, until golden brown.  Reduce heat, add the stock & white wine, then cover and simmer gently for 10-12 minutes, until cooked through.  Remove & keep warm in a low oven.

2) Increase the heat and allow your cooking liquid to reduce by half.  Meanwhile, combine the cream, flour and 2 tsp of your chopped dill in a small bowl, til smooth.  Add to the reduced stock, and cook, stirring constantly, til smooth & creamy.  If it's too thick, add a bit of milk and whisk like mad til you get a nice sauce consistency.  Turn off the ring.

3) Somewhere in the middle of all this, get a pot of salted water boiling for your spuds.  Halve your new potatoes (if needed), chuck 'em in the water, and boil until just tender.  While they're boiling, combine the rest of the chopped dill, the scallions, capers, lemon juice, crushed garlic, more salt and the remaining two tbsp of olive in some manner of container with a lid, and shake the bejaysus out of it.

4) Get about 300ml of water up to a gentle simmer, add the other knob of butter and a glug of white wine.  Add your julienned carrots (that's just a fancy way of saying carrot sticks) and simmer for about 10 minutes, until just tender.  Drain and plate.  Warmed plates, it should go without saying.

5)  Drain your potatoes - hopefully you haven't forgotten about them and turned them to mush.  Return them to the pot, add the dill/scallion dressing, stick the lid back on, and give the whole lot a good rattle.  Plate up beside the carrots.

6) Plop a chicken fillet onto the plate, and spoon over a ladleful of your lovely (hopefully) cream sauce.  Eat.  Enjoy.  Go to bed and think about what you're going to have for dinner tomorrow.


  1. It'll be come?

  2. A most enjoyable read! I'm left wondering though if you're still going to refer to them as Post the Third, Fourth etc as you go. Could get tricky the longer you go on, ha ha!

  3. By the way, it's looking a lot smarter than yesterday. Very professional! Maybe you should also consider a career in web design. For the likes of Dad.

  4. Er, I haven't thought that much ahead, Clo! And unfortunately, I can't take any credit for the layout, it's all templates :-(