Purchased that evening, previous to imbibing cider: can whole-berry cranberry sauce, six bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs,
On hand: spices , shallots, seasoning pepper (also known as aji or dulce), red wine, stock, noodles, cream, milk, butter, parsley
First step (3 minutes, tops, if you know where everything is): Heat. Seems obvious, but how often have you chopped onions or garlic, toted them to the stove, and been given a gloomy stare by an ice-cold pan? Or maybe it just happens to me. So, put a pasta pot onto boil, heat some neutral oil and butter (a tablespoon each) in a largish saute pan over somewhat high heat, and set the oven to 350 degrees. Start the steamer to simmering. No steamer? I couldn't find mine, so I put a small pot on the stove to boil.
Second step (12 minutes): While things are warming up, chop a large shallot along with a seasoning pepper, if you've got one. If not, a little finely chopped bell pepper and an infinitesimal flick of cayenne will do. Cut up a small bunch of broccoli into stems and florets. Season six chicken thighs.* Chicken into pan, skin side down. Turn occasionally (best to use tongs,** thighs can sputter viciously), until nicely browned, 10 minutes or so. In between turns, get the broccoli into the steamer or pot. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Drain; leave in pot. I was going to serve steamed broccoli, but the florets were started to look a bit jaundiced and sad, so puree it is. Check pasta water, but it's probably not quite at a boil yet.
Fourth step (8 minutes): Break up broccoli. Puree broccoli in a minichop, food processor, or with an immersion blender with about a tablespoon of butter. Add cream, half and half, or milk, until the puree is smooth but thick. Season with salt, white or black pepper, and a tiny flick of nutmeg. Return to pan, keep warm over low heat. Check noodles for doneness; they're not. Chop a handful of parsley. Noodles now done. Drain. Toss with butter and parsley. Chicken should be cooked through. Add to cranberry sauce, turn to coat, over medium low heat.
Fifth step (45 seconds): Plate. Take picture. Check clock: It's 7:48. Congratulate self. Serve. Drink balance of wine.
*You can make this with boneless skinless chicken breasts, if you must. Skip oven step; just return the white, flavorless, yet wonderfully healthy slabs to the sauce after it has been reduced.
**I know it's blurry. Do you think it's easy turning hot chicken with your right hand, and taking a picture of it with your left?