A chicken breast on a hot day

"don’t subscribe to the fatalistic notion that people simply “run out of ideas.” There are infinitely more ideas than you could ever use in your lifetime. The hard part is choosing one." Chris Winkle - Mythcreants


It's almost 5 o'clock and it's still over 35 degrees out there. It's a hot day and pretty soon I need to think what to do with the chicken breast I took out of the freezer this morning, without creating too much heat in the kitchen. It's been this hot for days now - I forget how many - and will be for a few more too - and so our normally cool mud brick house has warmed up. Those mud bricks are good at retaining heat as well as keeping it out.


Moreover, and I don't really know whether it's the heat that's causing this, I am out of ideas as to what to write about today. This happens to me every now and then, and usually I get out of it by using one of my writer's block breakers, but none of them have worked for me today. So I am building this post around my other problem - what to do with that chicken breast.


But before I do, just let me take slight issue with that statement at the top of the page. New ideas are not in the heads of most of us. I doubt that the majority of the world's people ever have an original idea. That belongs to the random geniuses that exist in human history. They are few and far between and even they have only a few truly original ideas. I have proved to this to myself over and over again. Every time I think I might have something at least newish or a newish slant on an old topic, to write about I find that somebody else has got there before me. 'There is nothing new under the sun'. I think that is much more likely to be true.


Take that chicken breast. So I have decided to sauté it, halving first butterflied it and bashed it around a bit. I took out some tarragon butter that I had made and stored in the freezer so that will come into it somehow. I tried to get some more tarragon at Coles this morning but it had all gone - which is interesting. And I have mushrooms, cream, some chicken stock to deglaze - it's not a wine day, so no wine. Maybe some lemon juice, maybe some peas, probably onions as a base. Mustard? I think I am probably heading to the 'too much' category here but the base idea is there.

I'm hoping it will turn out looking a bit like this - maybe a bit less cream, and yes, definitely some peas. And I've just remembered I made some tarragon vinegar recently so maybe a touch of that instead of the lemon juice I was thinking about. But none of this is original. Feed into Google chicken breasts mushrooms peas - or change the list slightly to chicken breasts mushrooms cream and you get a vast range of choices. I wasn't looking for an actual recipe - I'm not up to that today - I shall improvise when I get to it, but it's obviously a very common combination. Which in some ways is good - it proves I sort of know what goes with what, and how to cook it, but at the same time it's a bit passé. I guess it also shows that really all you need to know is what goes with what and what cooking methods best suit particular ingredients.


It will all be mopped up with some leftover bread from lunch with my son and his two lovely boys. It's Portrait week in the photography part of my days. Below are three of the better ones that I took this morning. Not brilliant, but not bad either, especially as I forgot to set the phone to portrait mode.

Here's hoping that I shall be more inspired tomorrow.

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