Monday, 24 March 2014

Rustic Chicken Stew

Rustic Chicken StewGet ready for a deluge of crock-pot recipes this week! This evening's dinner was Rustic Chicken Stew, from the Skinny Slow Cooker Recipe Book. Served with some creamy mashed potato, this was a huge success. The weather was particularly dreary today, cold and wet, so we needed something to warm us up, and this was just the ticket. It involved a bit of prep last night, but it took no longer than 20 minutes to get everything together.

Anchovy paste is a new ingredient for me - I had to buy it specially for the recipe and wasn't sure I would find it. But, yesterday we were shopping in Tesco, for a change, and there it was. It tastes a little bit fishy and a little bit salty. It adds quite a distinctive flavour to the dish.


Last night, I trimmed about 1kg of boneless, skinless chicken thighs of  visible fat and coated them lightly with flour. While I got on with the rest of the chopping, Hubby browned these in a pan with a little bit of spray oil. They went into the crock pot with: one chopped onion; 2 cloves of garlic, crushed; 1/2 each of red and yellow pepper (it was all I had) slicked thinly; 2 tins chopped tomatoes; 1tsp dried rosemary; about 12 pitted green olives; and a squeeze of anchovy paste. The recipe also called for 2 cups of chicken stock, but I just added in a stock cube, rather than extra liquid. The contents of the pot were mixed up, covered, and left overnight in the fridge.

This morning I simply put the pot into the machine and asked the au pair to switch it to low at 10am. When I got home (about 6:40pm) the stew was bubbling away nicely, and I switched it to the keep warm setting until the potatoes were ready.

The Outcome

I was really pleased with the consistency of this dish. The chicken was tender and well cooked, but not completely falling apart. The sauce was chunky, rather than liquidy. The flavour is quite unusual, I'd almost say there was ginger in it, except I know that there isn't. But it does have a lovely rich flavour, which goes perfectly with the creamy mash my husband makes.

There were 11 chicken thighs in the pot, so plenty for 5 people. Four of us have eaten, and we're waiting for Miss Fussy Eater to get home from gymnastics. She'll probably just have some chicken from the pot, and a little sauce. So, there will be some (meat free) leftovers.

The Verdict

We liked this dish - easy to eat. The potato soaks up a lot of the sauce, so the whole thing can be eaten easily with a fork. Mr Teenager said it was "really nice" and finished up everything on his plate. Hubby went back for seconds. Ms Fussy Eater has just been served hers!

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