The diet

Somebody is on a diet in this house after a visit to the doctor, and I don’t want to mention any names, but it isn’t me. I’m not sure what the diet is exactly, because it is a sensitive subject and when I asked I got the feeling I should leave it alone. I was asked to prepare smaller portions so that there would be nothing left in the pan to go back to. “But” I said, “that’s lunch; that saves me cooking lunch. I’ll tell you what I’ll do” I said, “I’ll give up my ice cream.” “Thanks”, he said. Giving up my ice cream is a lot, but he didn’t see it. “I’ll put the leftovers in the fridge where you can’t find them.” He didn’t even look up from his paper.
The thing is, I’m too old to take on the responsibility of somebody else’s responsibility. However, I do love a challenge. Instead of making chicken pot pie last night I sauced some chicken and broccoli, and served it over bruscetta with a salty Romano cheese.
Get the onion going in a heavy saute pan with olive oil, a sprig of fresh rosemary and salt over a low heat until it is completely softened and sublime. (about fifteen minutes) Blanch the broccoli in salted water for about two minutes and remove. Make your own stock by simmering a pound of bones, a carrot, an onion, a sprig of parsley, a clove of garlic and a bay leaf in plenty of water for an hour (or more). Strain, reserving the liquid and throwing away the rest. Bring that stock back to a simmer. Drop in a whole skinless chicken breast (or 2) and cook them for about twenty minutes until no longer pink. Remove from the stock and season with salt. Add a few tablespoons of flour and 1 tablespoon of butter to your onions. Whisk around until the flour loses its raw taste, but doesn’t go brown. Add a piece of lemon zest without the pith. Start ladling in hot stock, one ladleful at a time, until you have about 2 1/2 cups. Simmer over low heat until slightly thickened. Remove the chicken from the bones and shred. Add the broccoli to the sauce along with the chicken. Toast slivers of Italian bread under the broiler until just going golden. When they come out, drizzle with olive oil and rub once with a piece of cut, raw garlic. Remove the sprig of rosemary and lemon zest. Check for salt and black pepper. Spoon over a few pieces of bruschetta. Top generously with shavings of Romano.
No dessert.

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