Spiced Chicken Stew

Yesterday it was ridiculously cold – the coldest so far this winter, I think, but not quite cold enough to bring out the big girl coat (I draw the line at -10 Celsius, and yesterday when I was getting ready to leave in the morning, it was 16 Fahrenheit, which is -9 C, so… not quite). Matt had band practice – they’ve got a show coming up! – so he was going to be home late. So I made this stew that’s filled with warming spices and that makes the apartment smell delicious.

It’s from the always tasty Avocado & Bravado, whose affinity for North African flavour profiles shines through deliciously. She mentioned just using curry powder if some of these spices are a pain to get ahold of, but since I had nearly all of them, and the ones I didn’t have were in small amounts anyway, I just skipped them and called it a day. After all, I was halving it, and half of a pinch is what, looking at the pot of stew and thinking about that spice? So I called it good and it warmed me right up, and Matt seemed pretty happy with it too – although he probably wasn’t thrilled to death with the fact that I thought he’d be home about 45 minutes later than he actually got home, so he got to sit here smelling the food and being hungry. I’m the worst.

Spiced Chicken Stew

Ingredients
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp butter
3 chicken thighs, on the bone, with skin
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2″ piece ginger, peeled and minced
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes (I tried to get crushed tomatoes like in the original recipe, but apparently crushed tomatoes only come in the big cans)
1 large potato, peeled and diced
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/8 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp paprika (mine was quite a bit closer to 1/4 tsp, because I don’t have an 8th-tsp measure)
pinch cardamom
pinch nutmeg
cayenne to taste (I didn’t put enough, which is why my dish was merely “spiced” and not “spicy“)
1 tbsp milk
salt and pepper

Method
Heat the oil and butter in a large pot.
Pop the chicken in and allow to brown on both sides. Careful – the hot oil will want to be friends with you very, very badly.
Toss in the ginger and garlic and saute for another 30 seconds.
Stir in the tomatoes, potatoes, and the spices.
Boil gently for an hour, turning the chicken regularly and stirring – you’re going to get some stickage. Add water if the liquid evaporates too much.
Once the potatoes and chicken are done, stir in the milk.
Cook a couple more minutes just to make sure the milk didn’t cool everything down.

I didn’t serve it with rice or lentils or what have you; I figured it was hearty enough already and it came with potatoes as well.

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6 Responses to Spiced Chicken Stew

  1. Crystal says:

    This stew sure sounds like the perfect dish for a cold day! We actually got above freezing yesterday and I felt like wearing short sleeves, but I feel your pain!

  2. camille says:

    I have turned into a major baby here in Boston. When I lived in Montreal, that cold day would have been the warm day that week. I mean, it’s only in the (celsius) negative SINGLE digits! What’s the big deal, right? Plus, here the windchill number is, you know, something to take into account… there, it’s the only number you look at. The temperature without wind is essentially purely theoretical. You will never experience it.

    You’re probably much tougher than I am with the cold – that said, this stew is warm enough in flavour, as well as in temperature, that it should work even in more extreme climates than mine.

  3. Crystal says:

    I’d say it’s good you’ve acclimatized to your new place of residence, not that you’re a baby! I also wouldn’t say I’m a lot tougher, I still complain a lot about the cold, but it’s warmed up here, it’s getting into the 20’s (and boy does it feel warm!)

  4. Joanne says:

    I am a HUGE fan of North African flavors and this dish sounds amazing to me! Even 45 minutes late…well worth the wait.

  5. camille says:

    Dude… do it.

    Oh, p.s., your Super Bowl = Super Dumb post reminded me – on Super Bowl Sunday, I’m heaving myself into the frozen ocean for a Special Olympics fundraiser, and it was like pulling TEETH to get people at work to come with, even as volunteers who don’t get wet. Special Olympics New Hampshire, you are nice people and you do good things, but it was not the best idea to schedule the plunge for Super Bowl Sunday.

  6. Pingback: Easier Than Falling Off a Log » Chickpea and Walnut Salad with Tahini Dressing

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