Eating is a necessity. However, we choose what to eat. The choices we make reveal a great deal about us. The food you eat can tell quite a bit about your heritage, your family, your fears, your sense of adventure, your attitude toward yourself and others, and a myriad of other personal tidbits to anyone paying attention. Everything about eating is a glimpse into your soul.

I hope to reveal a little bit about myself to you through my food. I enjoy cooking. I enjoy eating. I find pleasure in bringing pleasure to others. I hope that by sharing my recipes I bring you a little bit of joy.

Cook my food. Feed it to the people you love.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Bone in Chicken Stew

Bone in Chicken Stew
White meat or dark meat? Breast or thigh? Most people choose to use boneless, skinless chicken breast when cooking, citing health reasons. True, they have less fat, but they also have wayyyy less taste. I use skin on, bone in chicken thighs. Thighs have a richer flavor and are much moister. You can always just remove the skin before eating.

Speaking of health, you can just use 2 cups of chicken broth rather than using root beer. Don’t. This sauce will make you weep, it is that good.

Servings: 3-4
Time: Active time: 10 minutes; Cook: 45 minutes; Stew in an hour
Hardware:  Measuring spoons and cups, a cutting board and knife, a large heavy bottom skillet that can be used on the stove and in the oven (I prefer a cast iron skillet), a gallon plastic bag, a wooden spoon, tongs, a plate, a thermometer

Pre-slice the veggies
  • 2 pieces of thick cut bacon
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 chicken thighs
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup root beer
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon brown mustard
  • 1 pound gold potatoes
  • 2 shallots (2 ounces)
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme (1 teaspoon dried)
  • Pinch of hot pepper flakes

  1. Take the chicken from the refrigerator while you are preparing the veggies. This will allow the chicken to rise to room temperature, ensuring that it cooks evenly. Pre-heat the oven to 375˚.
  2. Scrub the potatoes and cut them into very thin rounds. It is important that they be as thin as possible so that they will cook through. Peel and slice the shallots. Cut the celery and carrots into quarters long ways and then into 3-inch pieces. Roughly chop the bacon. Measure the liquids.  Set everything aside.
  3. Heat the oil and bacon over medium high heat in the heavy bottom skillet until the bacon fat melts, about 3 minutes. Place the bacon on the plate.
  4. Generously salt and pepper the thighs. Put the flour into the plastic bag. Then add the thighs and shake like crazy.
  5. Place the floured thighs, skin side down into the bacon fat and allow them to brown, about 5 minutes per side. Place the chicken onto the plate.
  6. Deglaze the skillet with the root beer and broth. Make sure to scrape off any little browned bits of flour as you stir. Stir in the sugar, mustard and pepper flakes. Toss in the thyme and bring to a boil, stirring often.
  7. Place the potatoes into the bottom of the pan, trying to make sure that they are submerged as much as possible. Layer on the shallots, carrots and celery. Sprinkle the bacon on top of everything. LIGHTLY salt.
  8. Place the chicken, skin side up, on top of the veggies and put the skillet into the oven.  Cook for 30-40 minutes or until the thermometer reads 160˚ when inserted into the fattest thigh.
  9. Remove the chicken and the herbs. Discard the herbs. Toss the veggies in the liquid in the bottom of the skillet.
    Chicken thighs are so flavorful
  10. To plate make a bed of veggies, top with a thigh and smother in sauce.

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