What Happens While You Are Thinking About Something Else
Now you know the mind set for this happy accident; worried about the boy and about that darn chicken.
I did all the usual things - sautéing slivered onion, sliced mushrooms, and minced garlic in EVOO, adding some herbs to that and cooking until fragrant, plopping in a big squeeze from a tube of tomato paste and two peeled, chunked tomatoes, pouring in a glug of red wine before simmering for 30 minutes or so, and adding chicken pieces from the roast toward the end to warm them up a bit - but the real magic happened when I absentmindedly chopped coarsely some leaves of Swiss chard and added them at the very end of the simmering period, really more because I could hear my dear departed mother's voice saying, "Honey, you need something green with your dinner," than because I had a conscious thought, and because I had zero in the way of salad fixings in the fridge.
I have no idea, having never been to Italy, if Italian cooks would faint at the idea, or if they've been doing this since God was a child, but it was delicious. It gave an otherwise ho-hum pasta dish some razzle-dazzle and a faintly healthy vibe. We sprinkled a little ParmReg on top after plating, and it was zenzational, if I do say so myself.
The moral of the story is this: it's okay to be absent-minded about cooking - in some ways, it fosters creativity and happy accidents.