Forgive me readers for I have sinned. You see, I haven't cooked anything more difficult than a fried egg for the past 3 weeks. Being at home during the break, eating mom's homemade foods and eating all around Atlanta with some fantastic people (see: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) left me little opportunity to cook for myself. I'm back in school now so you should see more recipes instead of just restaurant reviews.
Because I haven't cooked for such a long time, I needed to cook something that was easy. Something I can't screw up, one with minimal meez so I don't chop off a finger and one that tastes good the next day. The solution? A simple stew. I got Jamie's Food Revolution over the break and I decided to use his recipe to prepare my first meal of the new year.
I loved Jamie's concept of making easy, tasty recipes that anyone can make at home in this book. You don't need to be 100% exact for any of his recipes and you can change his recipes to your liking - really rustic cooking. Stews are great because they're almost idiot proof, cheap and great as it ages in the fridge - perfect for college students. It's also great because there's minimal cooking involved, you leave it to simmer and just do whatever you need to do (like clean, unpack, fold clothes...) while it finishes.
As a part of Jamie Oliver's "pass it on!" campaign, I'm now passing this recipe to all of you so you can share it with your friends and family. I hope this simple stew inspires some of you to get in the kitchen and start cooking.
Basic Chicken Stew
Adapted from Jamie's Food Revolution, Serves 4 - 6
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 stalks of celery, diced
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 heaping tablespoon of flour
- one 14oz can of diced tomatoes
- few sprigs of thyme
- 1 lb of skinless chicken thighs, diced (can substitute chicken breasts)
- 2 cups of white wine
1) Prep all of the vegetables. They don't need to be exact in size. Just rustic, rough chopping will do here. In a hot pot or dutch oven, add glug of olive oil, add the vegetables and thyme and cook for about 10 minutes over medium-low/medium heat. Season lightly with salt and pepper. The onions will be soft and translucent.
2) After the vegetables have finished sweating down, raise the heat to high then add the diced chicken and flour. Cook the chicken until it's no longer pink on the outside and the flour's cooked off.
3) Deglaze the bottom of the pot with the white wine and add the can of diced tomatoes. Scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon and pick up all of that delicious, good, brown stuff.
4) Add water (or chicken stock) until it just covers the chicken and vegetables. Bring the stew up to a boil.
5) Once it's at a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, put on a lid and walk away for 90 minutes. Quote Ruhlman, "Watch some TV, play with the kids, read, have a cocktail, have sex..."
6) For the final 30 minutes of cooking, remove the lid to reduce the liquid. Stir it once in a while to prevent the vegetables and chicken from scorching on the bottom.
7) Once reduced to your preference, serve. Great with rice or bread and amazing the day after.