But that wasn't the cardinal sin. That was venial. Sure it's annoying to have to jet out to the store after work, but still: Forgivable.
The cardinal sin was realizing, after cutting apart a whole chicken*, skinning it, and browning it in oil and butter, while the baby slept and while Todd was teaching kung fu lessons, that I didn't have those ingredients. I didn't even have one ingredient that I was utterly confident of possessing.
The ingredients I didn't have were: Red wine vinegar, sour cream, tomato paste and shallots. I had already realized, still at work, that I didn't have shallots but I stupidly, optimistically figured it perhaps only called for like two tablespoons and could be fixed by adding more garlic and some yellow onion. However, it was 1/3 cup of shallots. Poop.
But what to do about the others? I decided for the vinegar (another 1/3 cup), I'd use rice vinegar with a splash or two of apple cider vinegar. For the sour cream, the only somewhat possible substitute was the butternut squash soup I posted about yesterday. So I used it, 1/2 cup. For the tomato paste, I used about three sun dried tomato-halves. And for the shallots, I just said fuck it and diced half a yellow onion.
So I guess what I'm trying to say is... the recipe was punch yourself in the face delicious. It took me a long time, an hour and a half from start to finish, and after work, yoga, etc, I was absolutely exhausted. But it was worth it, because it was phenomenally good.
Look, I hate telling people This Is How You Do Something because there's always different ways to every thing out there. I love giving advice but I know 90% of the time it won't get followed, and that's fine. To each their own. But the only thing that I think everyone should do is to trust yourself, no matter where you are or what your skill level is. And I think that is the secret behind cooking to be honest. You need to walk in that kitchen and know that running out of a spice, or spilling the last of the flour, or having to use stupid soup instead of sour cream will NOT ruin you or your recipe. It just makes it yours.
*To add insult to injury, the chicken was some funky POS that wasn't a standard fryer but was sealed up in a bag that was filled with chicken broth which meant not only was the sodium content higher (therefore removing some of The Seasoning Power from my hands), but it was uber-saturated, and when I separated thigh from drumstick there was ridiculous aftermath, and chicken blood-water everywhere.
P.S. in case you missed the link up top, here's the recipe: Chicken in Garlic-Vinegar Sauce from delish.com