Friday, January 17, 2014

Something Delicious

A few of the necessary ingredients.
Last night I accidentally made a fabulous chicken stew. I had set out to make something else entirely, but one glass of wine got me feeling creative. The result was so good we simply could not stop eating it, which is bad I know but at least it wasn't Colonel Sanders' Kentucky Fried Chicken. I felt like someone or something, perhaps the ghost of Julia Childs or a even a real French person, had inhabited my body and was doing the cooking. The result was like nothing I had ever made before. Anyway, since I plan to repeat it, which I rarely ever do since I think food should be exciting and different every time, I am writing the recipe here before I forget. Try it. And follow it exactly or don't come crying to me:

Accidental Chicken Stew

2-3 TBSP olive oil for frying

3 slices uncured, raw bacon, cut into large pieces
1 lb. organic boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 large organic carrots, peeled and sliced
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
1 large celery stalk, sliced
8 cloves garlic, put through a press
32. oz. organic store-bought chicken broth

salt, fresh black pepper to taste
1 TBSP. dill weed
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (more if you like it spicy)
1 TBSP Simply Organic "garlic 'n herb" spice
1 scant TBSP. Gravy Master

1/3 C. dried cherries
1 medium zucchini, sliced and diced
4 large Cremini mushrooms (Baby Bella), chopped
2 C. fresh baby spinach leaves
1/2 C. organic fusilli pasta, broken

Optional: 1/4 C. flour

1. In a large stew pot, saute the onions and garlic in the olive oil. Add chicken and cook about five minutes until meat is browned on all sides. Add chicken stock, celery, carrots and bacon. Bring to boil, then cover and simmer over medium heat for 45 minutes.

2. Add spices, cherries, zucchini, mushrooms and Gravy Master. Simmer, uncovered, another 30 minutes, so stew will thicken.

3. Add pasta, cook uncovered 30 minutes.

4.  Optional: If you want a thicker sauce, make a paste of cold water and flour; add to stew.

5. Toss in spinach and cook five minutes, turning up the flame to heat thoroughly. Remove bay leaf, stir and serve.

This would be even better the next day, but we had an unexpected drop-in guest so there were no leftovers.

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