So I am reading the beginning of David Lebowitz’s book “The sweet life in Paris” and he is reflecting on the Moment he became “Parisian”. Listing a couple of Parisian life episodes where every American would have rolled their eyes or be in awe about the situation (like a bank not having change or running into your Dr.’s receptionist bathing topless in the Seine.) Now I am thinking, when was the moment when I became a Seattleite?
David Lebowit’z deciding moment was when instead of going down to the garbage can in his “Sunday worst” (tattered shirt and sweatpants) he decided to put on real dress pants, a shirt and shoes because in Paris you get judged on how you present yourself, even when making a garbage run. Reading his statement I remember my mum always asking me: do you think you will meet your future husband at the garbage can or why do you always put on make up when you bring out the garbage bag? So I guess there is something about looking decent when you leave your apartment/condo/house in Europe, no matter if for a date or for a Garbage run you should always look your best!
I had a similar experience like David Lebowitz, just in reverse order where I felt I became a Seattlelite when instead of taking a shower, putting on make up and getting all dressed up to make a coffee run; I walked up to Capitol Hill in my jeans and fleece, hair bundled up in a scrunchy, ordering my artisan latte and the barista not asking me where my accent is from.
I realize though that there wasn’t really just the one deciding moment that made me feel “American”, slowly but surely American “habits” started to find its way into my life, coming out to full display when traveling to Germany and being upset about not getting my left over food in a doggie bag; having to stand in long lines at the check out; no possibility of changing my food order to my liking or not being able to get cash back in the store. Every day life in the US seems much more convenient than in Europe.
I adjusted to the American way of life including leisure Seattle clothing just dandy but can’t imagine Mike ever adjusting to European fashion (how about some man jeggings Schatz?) I remember the first time I traveled to Germany with Mike; he was about to meet my parents for the first time and his dress code – Camo shorts, Birkenstocks with socks – yes with socks – and a fleece! I was so terrified of Mikes first impression to my parents that I begged him to change into a little bit more proper (European) attire at the Amsterdam Airport. First “clothing impressions” are still very important in Germany. I don’t care so much about this anymore here in the US but when I travel to Europe I still try to dress a little bit nicer than my Seattle Jeans and Fleece uniform. And for Mike? He didn’t last long in his jeans and shirt and changed back into the Camo shorts and Birkenstocks and my parents liked him just fine!
How do I make the jump now to my Chicken/Chorizo Soup/Stew recipe? Lets just say, you can cook this dish in any kind of clothes and best would be your morning Pajamas, just throw everything together into the slow cooker and dinner is taken care of!
Slow Cooker Chicken and Chorizo Soup/Stew
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1-2 Onions (depending on how much you like onions), chopped fine
- 8 garlic cloves, minced
- salt, pepper, garlic salt
- 6 boneless chicken thighs
- 2 cups chicken broth (if you want to make a stew, for soup use 6 cups of chicken broth)
- 1-2 links of chorizo (if you have a Mexican Grocery story close by get the chorizo from a real Mexican place the one I found at QFC and Safeway is just gross and is pure fat that dissolves into fat liquid in the pan and nothing like sausage meat).
- 1/4 cup instant Tapioca – if you make stew, for the soup leave it out
- 1-3 chipotle Chile in adobo sauce
- 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
- 1 can of corn
- 1 can of black beans
- 1/4 of fresh Cilantro for the cilantro lover (that’s not me ;-)).
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat and add the chorizo (squeeze the meat out of the casings) and brown it. You could skip this step and just cut the chorizo into slices and put it straight into the slow cooker. I did this the first time and it came out great, I do prefer though the chorizo to be more crumbled up in the soup, hence I take this step to break down the sausage into little crumble pieces.
- Add onions and garlic after 5 minutes and cook for another 5 minutes.
- In the meantime rinse of chicken thighs, pat dry and season with salt, pepper and garlic salt.
- Put the chicken into the slow cooker along with the onion/chorizo/garlic mixture, broth, chipotle pepper; (tapioca if you make stew) and sugar. Stir until evenly combined, cover and cook on low (7 hours)
- 1 hour prior to the stew/soup done, add the corn, black beans and if you like the cilantro. Serve with Flour tortillas, tortilla chips or corn bread/muffins, avocado and cheese.
Note: This recipe is nice and easy for the slow cooker or you can also stove cook it (just don’t cook it for 7 hours, maybe for 1 hour :-)) Its pretty much like a Chicken Tortilla soup, just with Chorizo and you can easily turn it into a stew with less broth and thickening tapioca and serve it over rice.