WRITTEN ON February 7th, 2011 BY Meredith AND STORED IN Breakfast, Chicken, Dinner, Eggs, Potato

Those of you who reside in the Northeast can attest to the fact that this feels like one of the longest winters in history. It’s only February, yet I find myself longing for spring and warm breezes earlier and more often than I have in years.

I’m not one of those people who sink into a deep depression as the days shorten. I crave seasons, and often think that I’d never want to live in a place where I didn’t get to experience all four. I love cold, bracing air, and snow, fires and hearty meals.  One of my favorite things about winter is waking up on a Saturday with nowhere to go, freezing temps and gray skies. On those days, I love to brew some coffee, bundle back under the covers, and read or catch up on my shows.  Basically, I have no problem hibernating, and because of this, am a big fan of winter.

Not this year. I’m so over it at this point. Two weeks ago I was still in the “bring on the snow” mode, appreciating the beauty of the fat, fluffy flakes as I threw another log on the fire.  But the last two storms, one adding almost two feet of snow to the two that were already on the ground, and the other bringing an inch of ice, have left me feeling like a woman on the verge. Long Island is getting pounded this year, and it no longer feels festive and fun.  It probably doesn’t help that this is our first winter in the ‘burbs, and all the shoveling, salting and worrying about the roof caving in has me (almost) missing our city apartment.

Growing up, my father seldom traveled for work, but when he did, Mom would make us breakfast for dinner. She always made it seem like a big treat, like we were somehow breaking the rules and living on the edge.  Dad wasn’t a fan of breakfast at dinner, so pulling out the waffle iron at 7:00 pm made us complicit in some deliciously deviant behavior.  It was always a spirit booster. Hoping to conjure that same feeling on the night of the last ice storm, I decided to follow suit. While the ice rained down, turning the sidewalks into something resembling a glazed doughnut, I threw this together using leftover roast chicken. I served it with out-of-season asparagus and the whole meal was so out of the norm (eggs for dinner? asparagus in January?) and had a such spring-like quality that we booked a March trip to Barbados the very next day.

I woke this morning to a light sky, sunshine pouring in through the blinds, and a very energetic bird chirping outside our window. It’s a balmy 45 degrees and I spent the better part of the afternoon walking around doing errands. Of course, the forecast has “arctic blast” written across the map for the rest of the week, but we won’t talk about that just yet.

Hash it up

Chicken Hash and Eggs (serves 2)
2 cups leftover chicken, cubed (this can be roast chicken, chicken breasts, or rotisserie from the store)
8 small red potatoes, diced (you want the diced chicken, potatoes and peppers to be similar in size)
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 medium red onion, chopped fine
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
Non-stick spray
1 tsp paprika
1 handful fresh parsley, chopped
1 handful fresh basil, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
2 fresh eggs
In a large saute pan, add 1 tbsp olive oil.  Saute onion until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes, over medium high heat.  Add peppers and garlic, saute 2 minutes more until soft and fragrant. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Add butter and coat pan and peppers/onions with non-stick spray. Add potatoes, saute over medium heat about 20 minutes until golden and soft (if they stick to the pan just spray some more non-stick spray), seasoning with salt and pepper. Add chicken, tomato paste, paprika, and stir to combine.  Cook a few minutes more until warmed through.  Add fresh herbs, keep on low heat. In a small non-stick pan, cook two eggs sunnyside up, about 5 minute each.  Season with salt and pepper.  Spoon out two servings hash, gently slide one egg on top of each.  Serve immediately.

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