Posts Tagged ‘Stews’

From Dish Rachelle:

I’ve found that a dish, no matter how accurate the recipe, never comes out exactly the same way twice. That’s part of the fun of cooking — the element of surprise involved when one tiny substitution, whether it’s the freshness of an ingredient or the mindset of the cook, can make a world of difference. Sometimes I bite into a meal I’ve made a hundred times before and can’t believe how good, and new, it tastes. Unfortunately, sometimes this works in the opposite way, too. A tried and true recipe can still go sideways every once in a while.

Case in point: this Moroccan Chicken. It’s based on a highly rated Epicurious recipe and the first time I made it for a guest we declared it a Keeper. I couldn’t wait to have it again and when we made plans to host Dish Erin and her spicy side, it was the first dish that came to mind. My husband and I shopped for ingredients, dreamed up side dishes, and since I’d been so successful the last time, decided that I would head up the prep. I started, and something didn’t feel quite right. Then I realized I had planned an olive-centric meal for a man who hates olives. It got worse from there.

The Moroccan chicken – which had been so savory and fragrant and balanced the last time – came out BITTER. Our guests were kind enough to chow down anyway (wine helps) but I knew that the dish was imperfect. Here’s what happened: the dish simmers for about 25 minutes, when the chicken cooks through and the flavors come together. I realized, about 20 minutes in, that the flame had been too low and the chicken was barely cooked. It then had to go another 20 some-odd minutes, during which time the lemons started breaking down, releasing the bitter pith into the stew. By the time I realized and removed the lemon rings, it was too late. Gross.

On the bright side, I learned a new rule: never simmer lemons for more than a half hour.

But seriously, make this dish. It’s awesome when it’s awesome. I’ve made it twice now, which allows me to write the recipe exactly how I would prepare it.

Serves 4
4 good-sized chicken thighs, seasoned with S&P
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 cups chicken stock
2 lemons, 1 sliced into 8 rounds and 1 juiced
1/4 cup green olives, pitted and sliced (assuming nobody hates them)

Set the lemon juice aside.

Heat a tblsp of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot or crock and add chicken thighs, skin down. Cook over medium heat until golden, about 5 minutes. Remove chicken to a plate. Add the sliced onions (and more olive oil if needed) season and saute until translucent. Add spices and garlic and stir until fragrant, about one minute. Add white wine and turn the heat up to cook off the fumes. Deglaze the pan.

Add chicken stock, lemon slices, and the browned chicken back into the pot.

Bring to a boil and the lower heat to a simmer. Cook mostly covered for 20-25 minutes.

When the chicken is cooked through, remove it to a plate again. Add the olives and lemon juice and turn up heat, reducing the sauce for about 5 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper and add chicken back in. Serve with a smile, even if it’s not your finest moment in the kitchen — it’s not the recipe’s fault, I promise!

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From Dish Rachelle:

So, I know what you’re thinking. First I post a roast during a heat wave, and then I follow-up with a stew during another one? No, saucy Italian food doesn’t seem like the most intuitive choice for this sweltering spring, but I promise: chicken cacciatore is not your average stew. Thanks to the bell peppers and herbs, it tastes fresh, bright and healthy, and it’s missing the richest elements of Italian food – think cheese, cheese and more cheese – that make other dishes feel so heavy. Served over rice, this meal is a treat. You could even think about substituting fresh tomatoes for canned ones once TOMATO SEASON is in full swing (yes, you’re right, I’m totally obsessed).

Olive oil
4 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (skin-on bone-in breasts and/or thighs with legs attached)
1 red pepper, sliced
½ green pepper, sliced
½ large onion, sliced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
¾ cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock
1 large can diced tomatoes
¾ tbsp. oregano
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tbsp. capers
¼ cup fresh basil
¼ cup fresh parsley

Heat 1-2 tbsp. of olive oil over medium heat, and place chicken parts in the pan skin-side down. Cook about five minutes, until skin is golden brown. Remove chicken to a plate.

Lower the heat if needed, and add the sliced peppers, onions and garlic to the pan. Saute 3-4 minutes, or until onions have softened. Add white wine, chicken stock and tomatoes and stir to combine. Replace chicken to the pan and nestle it under the sauce. Season the whole stew with oregano, cayenne, capers and S&P, and bring it up to a boil. Then reduce the heat and let simmer, mostly covered, for 30 minutes.

Remove the lid and with the heat still medium-low to low, let cook uncovered for another 20 minutes.

Just before serving, remove the chicken from the stew and crank up the heat, so that the sauce reduces just a little bit more and thickens. Serve over white rice or pasta!

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From Dish Paige!:

I have complicated feelings about March. First off, it’s my Birthday Month, and as such it is always filled with magic and happiness and love from all my friends and family. On the other hand, the whole “in like a lion, out like a lamb thing” usually just translates to “it’s still winter, deal with it.” Hopefully, this will be my last cranky weather-related post for a while, though. Yesterday, it was cold. It was rainy. And I needed me some egg noodles….

2 lbs beef cubes
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 can whole, peeled plum tomatoes
1 carton beef broth
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 tablespoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 dash nutmeg
salt and pepper
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
egg noodles


Heat the vegetable oil in a large, heavy bottom pot and brown the beef cubes on both sides. Add in the onion and pepper and saute until the onion becomes translucent. Add in the tomatoes (crushing with a spoon once they’re in the pot because it’ll get really messy if you do it with your hands, I know because I did it with my hands and got tomato juice all over me), the liquid from the can, the carton of beef broth and the bay, caraway, paprika, cayenne, nutmeg and salt and pepper (to taste). Bring the pot to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and watch part of a movie or some TV under a blanket because it’s rainy and you want to be cozy for about an hour and a half. After the stew has simmered, get the egg noodles going (according to package directions). With a slotted spoon, remove the meat and veggies from the liquid and reserve in a bowl. Melt the butter in a separate pan and whisk in the flour, whisking for about a minute or two. Add in the liquid from the stew and whisk until it turns into a nice, thick gravy. Pour the gravy over the meat & veggies and then pour all of that over some buttered egg noodles. YUM!

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