2/17/15

chicken stew!




 Im still trying to wrap my head around the fact that it was 65 degrees two days ago, and now its below freezing with ice covering the ground. Like wha?? The weather in this area is just so crazy. I woke up this morning with an awful sore throat, so I started right off the bat with some elderberry and raw garlic. I then thought to myself..."hey I want to make soup for dinner tonight!" A nice flu/cold fighting soup with lots of yummy herbs and veggies. Now this sore throat could have  been caused by nothing more than the changing of the weather, but when you're a mom you just don't take any chances! The best way to fight any virus is to get on top of it ASAP- which is why Im so glad I made this soup. It was delicious and packed full of all the essential vitamins and minerals needed when fighting off an uninvited invader. So take that, Cold!! Between the elderberry and this soup, you just never stood a chance;)

Im gonna call this a chicken stew. It fits all the criteria for a stew, and ended up looking and tasting like one. Yeah, I just wing my recipes now so naming it before hand is almost impossible. I read along time ago about a virus fighting broth that pureed broth, garlic, and onions together. I added mushrooms to the mix, and it came out really creamy and frothy. It looked pretty and tasted divine. I then was thinking, okay this is more on the lines of a chicken mull. Chicken mull is a traditional southern dish that consists of parboiled whole chicken in a cream or milk based broth. Once I added the veggies, however, the broth cleared up and started looking like a traditional stew.

Ingredients
  • 1 8oz. jar chicken broth (I get mine from farmers market- the quality and taste is soooo much better!! I highly recommend. If you do buy store bought, you'll have to add a lot of seasoning)
  • 2 whole chicken legs (organic from whole foods-they were on sale!)
  • mushrooms (once again..you haven't had a mushroom unless you do local organic grown. the flavors are amazing.. another recommended farmer market buy. You just cant compete!)
  • onions
  • garlic
  • butter-kerrygold irish grassfed butter from both Kroger or whole foods.
  • basil
  • carrots
  • cauliflower
  • butternust squash




I started this dish off by pouring the jar of broth and chicken legs into the stockpot and putting it on medium-high for a good hour. After it was done it looked like this- Nice and dark, almost like a gravy. The seasonings you see on it is a little extra basil I added. Everything else was what already came in the delicious broth.

While waiting for your chicken broth to boil down, It is now the perfect time to prep the other components. This was the next step I did. I gathered a handful of mushrooms, sliced a half an onion (kept them Julienne style) , minced one clove of garlic, about a tbsp or more of kerrygold butter, and then a pinch of dried basil. Sautee all this goodness toghether until tender, then set aside.

mmm:) the mixture once it starts sautéing.

The next step would be to pull the chicken broth off the stove and get it ready for your mushroom mixture. I took a colander like this and set it on top of the stockpot. I pulled my chicken legs out and set them inside the colander to cool down- all while making sure I didnt lose any yummy juice! once cooled down, I started pulling the chicken off the bone. I had a separate bowl for my bones. (I will use them later to make a bone broth!) I then kept the meat in the colander, but took some of the skin off and threw it in the broth.

After cleaning the chicken and making sure I had some skin in my broth, I put it in my blender and added the sautéed mushroom mixture. I pureed it together. Please don't mind the dirty blender. Things can get messy sometimes in the kitchen!

After pureeing it, I poured it back in the pot. This is the result. Look at that creamy deliciousness!!:)


    Time for some veggies! what made me choose these three?  Its very simple- They are organic, and I thought they complimented each other well. Buying organic is the most important thing to me. I truly believe there is a difference. And believe it or not, it actually makes grocery shopping easier! Just buy whatever is available for the season that is organic, and then formulate a meal around that. Its what I usually do!

\yummy carrots. I peeled and chopped them like this. This was the only vegetable that actually went into the broth to cook until tender. Carrots are full of antioxadants, and beta-carotene which is converted to vitamin A.

While the carrots are cooking in the broth, its best to start on the squash. Butternut squash is actually the hardest of them all to prep. The squash itself is hard, so be careful! I peeled, sliced in half, scooped the seeds out, then cubed, and roasted on a pan with butter on 400 for 35 minutes. I seriously love this vegetable. Its so healthy, and adds a little sweetness to the stew!
The last veggie was the Cauliflower. I didn't get a pic, so this one of Rob chowing down on a carrot will have to do. My carrots are never safe around him!:) I always with every meal strive to have at least one cruciferous vegetable, which was the cauliflower in this case. Cruciferous veggies are so beneficial to our health, however, 'over-doing it' can result in an upset gassy stomach, so be careful. It wont hurt you, but can make you feel a little unpleasant. I recommend looking up a list of cruciferous veggies to make sure you don't pair two together. I loved the cauliflower in this dish as it added a really nice potato texture, and made it seem even more like a real stew, just healthier!  I chopped and steamed the cauliflower for about 10 minutes on my stovetop until they were tender.

Once the cauliflower and roasted butternut squash was tender and ready, it was time to be added to the broth and carrots. I also added the meat that had been separated back in the earlier steps, and let everything simmer together for an extra 15 minutes. Now its time to season to taste! I use pure Himalayan salt (whole foods) pepper, a little cinnamon, and then maybe some dry basil here and there. Its really up to you and what you like. Just have fun with it!

I hope this recipe was somewhat easy to follow. I never use measurements for things like this, because I'm still learning, and I really just enjoy playing around. I encourage everyone to just get in the kitchen and do the same. I've had dishes turn out as complete flops, but I've also had dishes turn out fantastic! Either way, I'm always learning something, so its never a fail. Good luck and happy cooking!:)


Side Note: I served it with a side of toasted sourdough bread (another farmers market buy) and slathered it with butter and smashed avocado! yum!:)