… my grandfather passed away, resulting in Alex doing the sweetest thing he’s ever done for me. It was the summer after I graduated from college and I was just learning how to cook, but I didn’t necessarily know how to make many things. One thing I’d told Alex about several times was “chicken in a pot.”
This very vague sounding dish comes from a time when I was at my grandparents, eating dinner, and said, “Grandpa, this is delicious. What is it?” He simply replied, “chicken in a pot.” Seriously. It could not have been more nondescript. Of all the beautiful, Italian names my very Italian grandfather could have called it, this was simply “chicken in a pot.”
So on the day my grandfather passed away, I was at work. I called Alex while I was on my break to tell him what had happened and headed back to my shift. After biking home, I found Alex in my apartment, in my kitchen, cooking dinner for me. He was making “chicken in a pot” because he knew my grandfather had made it for me and that I loved it. The problem is, I had never told Alex what was in it and he’d never thought to ask. He simply knew that it involved chicken and a pot. To this day, I’m not sure what Alex put in that pot. There was chicken, a can of cream of mushroom soup and some other stuff. It wasn’t bad necessarily, but it wasn’t “chicken in a pot.” It was, however, the sweetest gesture I can imagine.
This is my grandfather’s recipe for “chicken in a pot.” It turns out that my mom had the recipe the whole time and I’d just never thought to ask for it. It’s not what I had remembered at all, but, quite honestly, I think I’d compiled in my head every memory and every delicious dish that my grandfather had ever made for me. “Chicken in a pot” was Florida sunshine and swimming pools, the smell of a homemade meat sauce in the kitchen while I played cards on the patio. There’s no way for you to get all of that from making this, but perhaps you’ll try it anyway.
chicken in a pot
1 chicken, cut in to pieces, or roughly 3 pounds of chicken pieces
2 carrots, sliced
2 onions, sliced
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 cup chicken broth, water, or wine
Layer all of the ingredients in a large pot and cook, covered on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Add more liquid as necessary and cook until chicken is done, about 45 minutes. Alternatively, put all of the ingredients in to a slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.