If you are cooking comfort food and taking it to another household, it has to be easy, appeal to many tastes, be freezable, and it has to allow itself to be broken down into smaller servings. This is the voice of experience.
Over the last couple of months, cooking for my mother (and now her husband who was able to come home after breaking his shoulder) has meant coming up with one-dish meals they will both like that will allow them to consume as much or as little as they want. Older people seem to eat less, and too much of something may spoil. At the same time, they need delicious and nutritious food that will keep them interested.
Chicken thighs are a favorite. They stay moist, have more old-fashioned chicken flavor, and are easy to eat. How do you make chicken thighs extra special and appealing? Try putting them on a bed of your family’s favorite Thanksgiving Stuffing. I use Mrs. Cubbison’s dressing mix - not the light recipe - and add sautéed onion, shallot, garlic, fresh thyme, sage, rosemary, parsley and an egg.
After sautéing and mixing the stuffing ingredients, fill a small casserole almost to the top (I use Crème Brule dishes). Place one chicken thigh on top and lightly season with salt and pepper. For extra moistness and flavor, include the skin and leave the bone in the thigh.
Bake uncovered at 350 degrees until the chicken registers 170 degrees with an instant-read thermometer (about 40 minutes). Be sure you are not hitting the bone when testing the temperature of the meat. Allow the dish to cool, cover with foil, and transport. Write any cooking instructions on the foil as well as the date it was made. This will make four small casseroles.
Once Mom warms this uncovered for 20 minutes at 375 degrees and they eat what they want, they can finish it for lunch the next day. The others have already gone into the freezer for the next time they feel like having chicken.
The best thing about this bit of comfort is it reminds them both of Thanksgiving without any of the work. Smells and flavors make happy memories. That’s why they call it comfort food!
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