Danny gets this look in his eye sometimes — a dreamy, faraway look that is accompanied by his chewing on his lip a bit — which means that a dish is coming to fruition in his mind.
This time, it happened because he had a whole chicken in the refrigerator. Now me? I would never look at a whole chicken and think, “I know. I can cut every bit of meat off the bone, then chop it with two knives like I have a good drum solo going until it is all finely diced, like ground chicken with a little more heft. And then I will mix it up ginger, onion, and garlic. Maybe a bit of tamari? Oh, a bit more. Sweet chili sauce? Yes. I have a lot of basil and cilantro. Why not that? And then roll them up in blanched Savoy cabbage leaves. Then, top them with a galangal tomato sauce. Yes, that’s what I’m going to do this morning.”
That’s one of the reasons I love him. He is always dreaming new dishes into existence, based on what we have in the kitchen. Like this one.