The holidays are over, the Giants have won the Super Bowl and Studio City is, hopefully, heading into its winter-rainy season (we so need the rain) where we can all conserve water by not having to water our lawns and gardens or fill our pools. All that’s good, but, for me, the cooler weather conjures up winter food fare, and the winter fare that comes to mind is pot roasts, soups, casseroles and stews. All can be hearty, healthful and inexpensive…inexpensive being key in these economic times. One of my favorite (and cheap) winter stews is Chef Pierre Franey’s (yeh, he’s French – so it’s a French chicken stew with winter veggies and, no, I don’t think we can call it “freedom” chicken stew).
I had never heard of chicken “stew” before. Chicken soup, of course. I make it all the time when I buy a roast chicken, stretching my original $4.99 -5.99 investment to multiple meals. Can’t get cheaper or healthier than that. And, because I love chicken, I’ve written about a million ways to cook it, creating fabulous, low cost meals… but chicken stew? That was new to me when my friend, Sandy, told me about Chef Franey’s recipe.
She raved. And being an amazing cook herself, when she raves, we listen… then my husband (the amazing cook in our family) decided to try his hand at making this stew from an “on-sale” $3.00, four pound chicken.
The outcome… so good it’s a stew you write home about, or in my case, write a Patch blog about so I can tell y’all about it (yes, channeling Paula Deen here, though, as delicious as this stew is, she would never tell you about it – nothing’s fried!). And, like lasagna, this stew is even better the second night. Really, it is! Next time we have it (and there will be many a next time) my husband might even make it the day before and let it ‘stew’ in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
One 3 lb whole chicken, cut into 10 pieces
1 pint Brussels sprouts
16 baby carrots, trimmed & scraped
1 cup white turnips, cut into ½ inch cubes
1 cup parsnips, cut into ½ inch cubs
1 cup chopped leeks, white part only
12 small white onions, peeled
2 sprigs fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 whole cloves
2 cups fresh or canned chicken broth or water
½ cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
4 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh coriander
Trim the end of the sprouts and make a small gash in the bottom of each.
Place chicken pieces in a Dutch oven. Add sprouts and all the remaining ingredients except the Worcestershire sauce and coriander. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
Remove cloves and bay leaf. Add Worcestershire sauce and chopped coriander. Blend and serve. That’s it! How easy can you get?
A note: My husband wanted a thicker broth (more ‘gravy’ like, than ‘soup’ like), but didn’t want to add cornstarch so he took out some of the stew’s cooked winter veggies and pureed them, then stirred the veggie puree back into the stew. I definitely recommend doing this. Makes the stew more stew-y.
The stew can be served w/ rice, cous cous or egg noodles – but he served it just as is. Delish.
Makes 4 servings