Thursday, February 3, 2011

Kitchen Update:

Chicken Thigh Stew 
(perfect for Winter Weather)

The best thing out of the kitchen this week is an adaption from Jamie Oliver. I make this several times over the Winter months and wish for it in the Summer. I took his suggestion in the book to use chicken thighs rather then rabbit. It's pretty easy:

  • Take a dozen chicken thighs (I get naturally raised de-boned but you can use bone in).
  • Either two medium onions cut in chunks about 1” or a big handful of boiling onions.
  • A cup or so of Shitake mushrooms or any mushrooms if you can't find them. Chopped fine (if people don't like the texture of mushrooms chop them very very fine)
  • Olive Oil
  • Several sprigs of fresh Rosemary (couple tablespoons if you use dried)
  • 4 slices of bacon (he uses a lot more). Chopped into about 1” pieces. You can use less but if you don't use any it will make a difference
  • Small package of frozen peas (fresh if you have them!)
  • A bottle of dark beer. (the alcohol will burn off. You can skip this but it won't be the same) I use Guinness. Any good English Ale is good too but use what you can or like.
  • Chicken broth to cover. (a 16 oz carton is more then enough)
  • A large stove top pan: I use a 14" pan with 3" sides. You can use a dutch oven or anything large and deep enough of similar size.

Dredge the chicken in a mixture of flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Sometimes I add dried Savory.
Put them aside.

Saute in a couple tablespoons of the oil; the onion until it “sweats” then add bacon and saute but don't let it get crispy just cooked through. 

Add mushrooms and Rosemary and saute a few minutes until cooked through.

Remove the above from the pan and put on a plate. Add more oil to the pan and in small batches brown both sides of the thighs. Place the cooked ones on a plate then cook the next batch, etc.

Add all the batches of thighs back into the pan.
Add the onion mixture and stir.
Add the beer.
Just barely cover with the broth.
Add the peas.
Cook on the stove top, covered on low, so that it keeps a low simmer; about 45 minutes to an hour or until the liquid is where you like it (not too soupy for me).

He suggested making dumplings for the top and bake the whole thing in the oven until they are done but I make lousy dumplings and they aren't that good for you. So I serve mine over brown rice.

Leftovers can be chopped up and made into a pot pie or pasties or just reheated and served again.

This is perfect for cold stormy weather. It's very warming and comforting.

Maitake Mushroom Kit update:

So far absolutely nothing has happened. In another week or so if this keeps up I'll email them to ask for advice. I've done everything the directions had told me to. I've had people read them for me to make sure I did. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Garden update:

The seed orders are out! I won't list them yet; I'll do that as I plant things. I should be starting some early seeds in March. I can't wait.

Trying to decide if I want to buy a seed starting shelving system or make one. Again. Had one once I made then I gave it away as I didn't think I'd ever use it again. Never assume anything :)

Last year it was a dilemma for me: whether to start plants or just buy them all as I had been for the last few years and so I only started a few of them. I realized this year how important it is to start the plants in the Winter; it helps you to stay positive and look forward to Spring. Keeps one busy and keeps away the Cabin Fever too.

I'll still buy some I think; I don't have that much room. But I'm lucky in I have several local sources for organic plants raised locally. (need I mention the tomato blight of '09 again? hehe)

So by the time the seeds have arrived I'll hopefully have my decision made about the growing shelves.

A belated Happy Imbolc, Candlemas and/or Groundhogs day to you all. We are half way to Spring now!

1 comment:

  1. I forgot to mention that you can freeze the stew once it's cooled down. Should last about 6 months but eat it sooner if you can.