With the weather turning colder (snow in the forecast for later this week?!?!?! NOOOOOO!!!!!!!) 😉 I had a request from a friend of mine to blog about a stew recipe. At first, I was dreading the research necessary to find a new recipe…and then I remembered! I have a fantastic stew recipe that’s extremely hearty, very tasty, and easy to make. I just made this a couple of weeks ago for a customer who has three omnivores in the house, as well as an 11 year old vegetarian. This stew works for both…I chose to cook the chicken thighs under the broiler, and only added them to 4 out of the 6 portions that I made for them. Word so far is that the little vegetarian is a big fan…so winner here, heh heh.
I really enjoyed making this recipe, because it has ingredients that I wouldn’t always use on a day to day basis. The only place that I’ve used coriander in the past was in the green curry recipe that I blogged about previously. As a general rule, butternut squash is one of the vegetables that is just easier to buy frozen…but because Sprouts was out, I had to buy fresh and work with it myself. I am SUPER lazy, so any time I am forced to get out of my comfort zone like that, I appreciate it. I have used turnips in the past for my beef stew recipe, so this is an unusual vegetable that I’m a big fan of. Finally, I don’t use couscous very often at all, so I got the opportunity to learn about this little grain as well 🙂
When I made this recipe for my customer, I learned a LOT about the ingredients I was working with…always something I appreciate. First of all, fresh butternut squash isn’t as sturdy as I originally thought. The recipe calls for it to be cooked for 30 minutes…I think I would change the cooking time for all of the ingredients through the chickpeas to 25 minutes instead of 30. This will allow more liquid to be available at the end, as well as leave the vegetables with more texture. (Side note here) The recipe calls for the stew to be covered and simmered. With the altitude here in denver, liquid starts to boil at a lower temperature than in other parts of the country. Here in the city, I left the stew uncovered while it simmered, because I didn’t want it to boil under the extra air pressure of the lid…but that’s just me. 😉
Last, I want to talk about the couscous. At first glance, it seems like couscous can be cooked like rice, bulgur, or any of the other grains that are simmered. However, what I have learned is that it’s more gentle, and can’t withstand the heat that rice or bulgur can. This recipe addresses that fact very well, and I was extremely happy with how the couscous ended up. It adds a fantastic texture to the stew, as well as bringing a completely different flavor than you would expect.
All in all, if you want a delicious, hearty, easy to make stew for the upcoming chill in the air, I recommend this to you…for both your omnivore and vegetarian friends. Until next time, Chef Curry out. Recipe Below.
Chickpea and Winter Vegetable Stew
2 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, on the side
1/2 C chopped onion
1 leek cut into thin slices
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/8 tsp cumin
2 minced garlic cloves
1 quart vegetable stock
1.5 C cubed and peeled butternut squash
1 C large cubed peeled Yukon gold potato
1 tsp tomato paste
As needed: salt
1 large turnip, peeled and diced
1-15 oz can chickpeas, drained
1/4 bunch parsley, minced
1/4 tsp honey
1 C uncooked couscous
2 lb chicken thighs, broiled and split upProcedure
- Preheat broiler, and cook chicken thighs until internal temperature reaches 160F. Let rest and set aside for later
- Heat oil in a large saucepot over medium-high heat. Add onion and leek and sauté for 5 minutes. Add coriander, cumin, and garlic clove, cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Add the quart of stock plus all the ingredients through the chickpeas to the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, cover and let simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in parsley and honey
- Remove 2 C of cooking liquid. Place into a bowl with the couscous, cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork
- Divide couscous evenly among bowls (should be ½ C couscous per bowl) and distribute stew mixture evenly among same bowls and store/serve
Recipe and images courtesy of the New York Times: