Saturday, 8 February 2014

Balsamic Chicken and Winter Vegetable Stew

This is a deeply flavoured chicken stew with the warm flavours of sundried tomatoes and rich balsamic vinegar cooked with hearty, beautiful winter vegetables. I feel better about the long, cold winter after eating a bowl of this along with a heel of crusty bread and a glass of wine. 

You will need:
  • 8 boneless/skinless chicken thighs - excess fat removed
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic - finely minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh chili or hot pickled peppers in a jar
  • 1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped rosemary
  • 6 sundried tomatoes - chopped finely = 1/4 cup
  • 1 small onion - chopped
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt and pepper (each)
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 heaped tbsp flour
  • 3 cups chicken broth/ or water
Your favourite Vegetables - washed and chopped into pieces that easily fit on a spoon.
  • a couple of handfuls of each vegetables - I used:
  • 1/2 cauliflower = chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 3-4 carrots - chopped
  • 1 small celery root - chopped
  • 1 small turnip - chopped
  • 1 small sweet potato - chopped
  • 5-6 mushrooms - quartered

Gather all your ingredients. 

Step 1: in a medium sized bowl add cleaned chicken thighs, olive oil, garlic, hot chilies/peppers (I used a hot pickled pepper product from Italy but, you can use a fresh chili), Italian seasoning and fresh rosemary. Stir and let sit (covered) in fridge for 1-2 hours.

Step 2: in a large pan add onions, olive oil and a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper. Cook 5 minutes to just start the onions to release their water and start to brown around the edges.

Step 3: add chicken and let cook 15 minutes to cook out most of the water and to just start to brown the meat.

Step 4: add balsamic vinegar and cook 5 minutes. This should almost evaporate the vinegar. 

Step 5: add white wine and cook another 10 minutes until wine is concentrated.

Step 6: add flour and stir. Cook 2-3 minutes.

Step 7: add broth or water and sundried tomatoes. Turn down heat to medium/low for gently simmer for 30 minutes until meat is tender.

Step 8: remove chicken and once cooled slightly shred into smaller pieces (I always remove any fatty bits here)

Step 9: add all chopped vegetables (look at those pretty carrots!) and chicken back to pot and cook 20 minutes until all vegetables are tender. If you need to add a bit more liquid to thin out feel free to make this the consistency you like in a soup or stew. I have also added a bit more fresh chopped rosemary.

Serve big steaming bowls of soup with a drizzle of your best extra virgin olive oil and some chopped spring onions or a bit of fresh spinach or even shreds of baby bok choy.

Don't forget the crusty bread and glasses of wine!

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