Friday, November 7, 2008

In a stew? Find a bird near you.

While beef is considered the King of Stews, chicken-based stews come together fast and offer a nice change of pace.
A method of cooking by which meat and vegetable combinations are barely covered with liquid, stewing produces deep flavors because the foods simmer slowly in a tightly covered pot. Stewing tenderizes meat and allows the flavors of the individual ingredients to meld deliciously.

From the National Chicken Council and the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, here are two chicken stew recipes to add to your winter meal list, during the holidays or anytime for casual family dining.
Spicy Chicken and Chickpea Stew combines rich chicken thigh meat with carrots, scallions, tomatoes and chickpeas. Chicken stock and orange juice provide the juices for the stew, with additional flavor layers provided by garlic, coriander and paprika. To make this tasty, easy dish, start by slicing chicken thigh meat into bite-sized chunks. Brown the chicken on the stovetop, and then boil chicken stock and orange juice together in the same pan. Add the vegetables and cook until crisp-tender. Put the chicken back into the pan and let the stew simmer to meld the flavors. A dollop of herbed yogurt is cooling, tasty finish to this dish. Serve with a green salad and crusty bread for a complete meal.

Spicy Chicken and Chickpea Stew

Serves 6

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 3 pounds), cut into 1-inch pieces

Herbed Yogurt:
1 cup plain yogurt
1 TBLS chopped basil
1 TBLS chopped mint
1 TBLS chopped parsley
1 TBLS lemon zest
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper

¼ cup flour
4 TBLS olive oil
1 bunch scallions, cut into ¼ inch pieces
3 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tsps ground coriander
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp salt
½ cup orange juice
2 ½ cups chicken stock
2 cans (15 oz) chickpeas, drained
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes and juices

In small bowl, combine all ingredients for Herbed Yogurt. Refrigerate to allow flavors to blend. Place flour in plastic bag with zipper top. Add chicken; toss to coat. In large pan with lid, warm oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and saut̩ until browned, about 5 Р7 minutes. Remove chicken to a bowl and set aside.

In same pan, pour orange juice and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, scraping up any brown pieces from the bottom of the pan. Add scallions, carrots, garlic, coriander, paprika and salt. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots are crisp tender, about 10 – 15 minutes. Add tomatoes and chicken, return to a simmer and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes longer.

Remove from heat. To serve, spoon into bowls and top with dollop of Herbed Yogurt.

Nutrition Information, Per Serving:
650 calories; 29 g fat; 7 g saturated fat; 44 g carbohydrate; 53 g protein

Chicken, Squash and Pasta Stew is an easy one-dish meal, perfect for a busy night. Slice chicken cutlets into bite-size pieces and cook on top of the stove with diced onion. Add thyme, oregano, basil and a bay leaf for flavoring, along with chopped butternut squash, canned diced tomatoes, small elbow pasta and bagged spinach leaves. Cook into a stew with red wine and orange juice. Serve in soup bowls topped with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.

Chicken, Squash and Pasta Stew

Serves 6

2 pounds chicken cutlets, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 TBLS olive oil
1 onion, diced (about 2 cups)
1 ½ TBLS flour
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 bay leaf
1 TBLS tomato paste
½ cup red wine
1 pound butternut squash, cut into chunks
1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes, drained
½ cup orange juice
1 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 ½ cups uncooked elbow or other small pasta
1 bag (1 pound) spinach leaves
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
½ cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese

In large frypan with lid or stockpot, warm olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. While onion is cooking, place chicken pieces in colander over sink, sprinkle with flour and toss to coat.

Add chicken to the pan and brown, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Add thyme, oregano, basil, bay leaf and tomato paste; cook one minute, stirring constantly. Raise heat to high, add wine and scrape up brown bits from the bottom of the pan, cooking another minute. Add squash, tomatoes, orange juice and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook until squash is beginning to soften, about 7 – 9 minutes. Add pasta, stir, cover and simmer an additional 10 minutes.

Add spinach a handful at a time and continue to simmer another 3 – 4 minutes, until greens are beginning to wilt and stew is cooked through thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper and stir well.

To serve, ladle into soup bowls and top with sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.

Nutrition Information, Per Serving:
450 calories; 13 g fat; 3.5 g saturated fat; 40 g carbohydrate; 41 g protein


kesha said...

Chicken stock and orange juice provide the juices for the stew, with additional flavor layers provided by garlic, coriander and paprika.Stewing produces deep flavors because the foods simmer slowly in a tightly covered pot.A dollop of herbed yogurt is cooling, tasty finish to this dish.



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Laura said...

Yeah, my children loved this. Of course, they're pretty adventurous eaters, but they couldn't get enough of it. My son (9) requested more "chicken in the pot," as he termed it.