Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Stew Week

Last week was stew week.  I experimented with different stew flavors and cooking styles and here's what I've decided.  I'm not done yet!

Those three stew meals were some of the tastiest I've made in a long time.  They were hearty, delicious and best of all...there were leftovers.

Modern living has taken us away from our slow cooking traditions.  Most of us are not even home enough hours in a day to prepare and slow cook a stew.  Of course, there is always the crock pot or slow cooker.  But I'm finding that there is so much more flavor in a slowly roasted casserole or a stew simmered for hours over the stovetop.

It may be that the flavor secrets are in the mirepoix or the soffritto, that slowly sauteed mix of onions, celery carrots and garlic.  It may also be in the browning of the meat.  The sauteing and browning simply can't be done in a crock pot.  Who knows?  What I do know is that last week's slow cook meals were fantastic and I want more.

Whole Roasted Chicken Stew with Apricots Fennel and Leeks

3 T olive oil
3 leeks sliced
2 small fennel bulbs sliced including stems and fronds
3 small carrots sliced
1 cup sliced celery
3 small garlic cloves
sea salt and lemon pepper to taste
1 whole chicken, organic
1 c dried apricots
1 c chicken stock
1 c champagne
1/4 t cinnamon
2 pinches cloves
1/4 t turmeric
juice from 1/2 lemon

Put the olive oil,  in a large saute pan, bring to medium heat, and add the leeks, fennel, carrots, celery and garlic.  Saute slowly, stirring occasionally for about 1/2 hour while the vegetables soften.  Season with the salt and pepper and put the vegetables in the bottom of a large lidded casserole dish.  Place the chicken on top and add the apricots, stock, champagne, cinnamon, cloves, turmeric and lemon. Allow the top of the chicken to be above the vegetables and liquids so that it will brown.  Put in a 300 degree oven and bake for 1 1/2 - 2 hours or until chicken is done.  

No comments:

Post a Comment