I'm amazed that when people need to throw something together for a meal, they often neglect fruit. It doesn't take much, half an apple in with some potatoes transforms the flavor delightfully. For example, I was visiting a friend, and she asked if I felt like cooking. Well of course I did. Opened the refrigerator to see what was there, and found bits and pieces: part of a red onion, a carrot, some leftover pineapple chunks, a bag of sugar snap peas, and chicken thighs. What to do?
Easy! Dice the onion and slice the carrot. Hand my friend the peas and ask her to clean them. Get some garlic and rub down the chicken thoroughly. Heat up her best frying pan with some nice olive oil in it, sauté the onions. Quickly slice the pineapple chunks. Add the carrots to the pan. Locate the sea salt and sprinkle some on the chicken, then toss a bit in the pan. Add the peas to the pan. Locate an open bottle of chardonnay and a plate.
Put the partially sautéed veggies on the plate, add garlic oil and olive oil to the pan (she loves garlic) and brown the chicken thighs. When it's time to turn them, toss in the pineapple. Drink the chardonnay.
Okay, the chicken is done, mostly, so add the veggies back in. More sea salt and some freshly ground pepper go into the pan, along with a splash of chardonnay. Cover loosely and drink a bit more wine.
Root around in the refrigerator and find an open but still usable bottle of a sweet ginger-soy sauce. Add about two tablespoons to the pan, stir, and cover. Find plates to serve, dish up some rice, plate the chicken with veggies on the side. The juices have thickened into a nice pan sauce, so sauce the plates, and voilà, supper is served!