I just finished eating lunch in my cubicle. Despite the fact that I was working the entire time, I still feel pretty cozy from my warm and wonderful home-cooked meal. Lunch consisted of CSA cabbage braised the way Orangette does it, accompanied by shreds of rotisserie chicken from Costco, covered in sauce from Ina Garten’s pot roast recipe. Both were crammed into a half-quart Pyrex container. The sauce, still smelling of beef and wine, coated the chicken and sneaked over to flavor the cabbage, which was already saturated with chicken stock and spices. Delicious.
One of the secrets to subsisting off home cooking is to make food that becomes good leftovers. I pack my lunches the night before; experience has taught me that I never feel up to packing lunch in the morning, and then before you know it I’m getting fries from the cafeteria again. No, far better to pack it up at night; then I just snag it from the refrigerator on my way out the door.
I don’t look down my nose at rotisserie chickens, either. Some days there’s no time to defrost meat to go with dinner; we’ve plenty of veggies from the CSA, and lots of uncooked starches (rice and pasta) lying around, but if I serve up nothing but starch and veggies, K starts to look a little sad. Rotisserie chickens live a long life in our household, and they’re worth every penny of the $5 that Costco charges. The fat/salt content is a little high and of course I’d rather roast a chicken myself, but sometimes we just don’t have the time.
We eat the dark meat as is, since it’s our favorite part; we have the thighs with dinner, and put drumsticks in lunches for the next day. (Or the other way about, depending on how hungry we are.) Breasts get sliced or diced for sandwiches or chicken a la king, or simply serve as a protein accompaniment for a lunch like mine today. Wings and carcass go in a freezer bag; when we’ve filled a couple of gallon-sized bags, it’s time to make stock.
I’ll almost certainly make some stock as the weather gets colder. Once outside temperatures dip consistently below 40, I can just put a hot pot of stock outside to cool and not have to worry about raising the temperature in your refrigerator. (If you’re worried about squirrels or bugs, the trunk of the car works just as well.)