Sometimes comfort food means cooking what your mom used to make when you were a kid. Today’s recipe is just that. She didn’t make it too often but I was always excited when she did. If I had my way, I would have just eaten the rice and the sauce. Of course now that I am an adult and I run my own household, I can do what I want, but I admit nothing. Nothing!
I was having a chat to my mom about this dish and we concluded that it came from a Chinese cookbook maybe put out by Time Life in the 60’s? I can picture the cover of it in my head. The original recipe was made with bone in chicken but I’ve decided to go with boneless instead. I just find it easier to eat.
Most of our meals were eaten in the family room. Our family room was quite big; long and somewhat narrow. We had the piano and a long farmhouse table at one end of the room and the other two thirds of the room had our sofas and chairs and TV. There was a huge fireplace too with a bake oven. I wish I had some photos I could show you but they’re all in storage and who knows what crate I should begin digging in. All the photos from that house would have been on 35mm so I don’t actually have any digital copies that I know of. It was a really lovely place to grow up. I’ll have to tell you more about it someday.
When we sat at that long farmhouse table we always sat in the same order. My dad at one end closest to the dining room with my sister and I next to each other and my mother at the other end closest to the kitchen. No one sat along the other side. Some nights we would watch TV at dinner though I can’t remember how often we did that. The table was an old table made from wide planks of wood. It was dark and easily could seat 8.
When we would sit down to eat I always went for the bread, potatoes, pasta, or rice first. Total carboholic. My dad would always make sure that I ate the veg and the protein before going back for seconds of carbs or another glass of milk. I can still see the serious look on his face when he said it. I’ve always been a carboholic. I’m pretty sure I got it from him.
This recipe is so good and quick and easy to make. You can definitely eat yourself into a lovely food coma with it. It is salty and creamy and sweet and I like that the sauce is made with beef stock instead of chicken stock. It makes it richer. I’ll admit, this probably isn’t an every week kind of meal. It does have heavy cream in it but you can scale that back a bit and if you want to you could always substitute brown rice for the white rice. I’ve even made it before using fresh mandarins instead canned. Turned out great! And it goes very well with steamed broccoli or broccolini on the side. I’ve never tried freezing leftovers but they do reheat very well the next day for lunch or dinner.
One thing to note – I’m writing this recipe for four servings, but you can easily increase the amount of chicken to serve more. The sauce as written will amount to approximately 4 cups which I think will still work when serving 6 – 8 people. Of course it just means less sauce per person as you increase the servings. It is quite a bit of sauce for 4 people (1 cup per person) but hey, I like a lot of sauce!
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!!!