Moroccan Chicken Stew

This meal was a step away from my comfort zone but I’m glad I went for it.  We loved it so much, it will be added to our regular rotation.  I’ve never made a specific Moroccan meal before and have only used curry powder a handful of times, but somehow I knew this would be good.  It has a great warm, spicy flavor.  Probably too spicy for some people but perfect for us!

I made a few adaptations, mainly substituting chicken breast tenderloins in place of the bone-in chicken thighs but that’s what I had on hand.  It cooked faster using the tenderloins as well.  I also added fresh basil and omitted the raisins but will use them next time.

Moroccan Chicken Stew

Source:  adapted from Campbell’s Kitchen {clipped from a magazine}

serves 4-5 large portions

Ingredients

2 Tbsp olive oil

8 bone-in skinless chicken thighs {I used 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast tenderloins}

1 large red onion, sliced

1 large bell pepper cut into 1″ pieces {I used some red and orange bell pepper}

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp cinnamon

1 Tbsp curry powder

1 can condensed tomato soup {I added a little water to rinse the can}

1/3 cup golden raisins

1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1/3 cup silvered almonds {I used sliced almonds}

fresh basil – about 1 tablespoon, chopped

Directions:

Heat oil in a deep saucepan or dutch oven.  Add chicken {in batches} and brown on all sides; remove to a plate.

Add onions, pepper, and garlic to the pot and cook about 5 minutes, until tender-crisp.  Add cinnamon and curry and stir for one minute.  Stir in soup {and water} and heat to a boil.  Return chicken to pan.  Cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes or until chicken in cooked through. Stir in chickpeas and raisins.  Then stir in the almonds and basil.

Serve over couscous or brown rice.

Enjoy!

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Beef and Butternut Squash Stew

I love my husband and the way he surprises me out of the blue sometimes.  He noticed that we had a butternut squash sitting on the counter for quite some time and he took it totally upon himself to find a recipe to use it up.  He called me over to his computer, showed me this recipe and said he would like me to make it. 🙂  I was so surprised by his research that I was happy to comply.

The only major change that I made was using a can of stewed tomatoes in place of the sun-dried tomatoes.  I’m assuming the stewed tomatoes resulted in a more mild tomato flavor than the sun-dried ones.  At least I have always found sun-dried tomatoes to be pretty intense, but it was still delicious allowed the beef and squash to be the stars of the dish.

Beef and Butternut Squash Stew

Source:  Giada De Laurentiis

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary {I used dried}
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme {I used dried}
  • 2 pounds stew beef, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup Marsala wine {I just used whatever red wine I had open from the night before}
  • 1 pound butternut squash, peeled, trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes {I used one can of stewed tomatoes}
  • 3 to 4 cups beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Crusty bread, for serving

Directions

In a large soup pot heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, rosemary, and thyme.  Saute until the onions are tender, about 2 minutes. Toss the beef cubes in salt and pepper and flour. Turn up the heat to med-high and add the beef to the pot. Cook until the beef is browned and golden around the edges, about 5 minutes. Add the wine. Using a wooden spoon, gently stir up all the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the squash and sun-dried tomatoes and stir to combine.  Add enough beef broth to just cover the beef and squash. Bring the stew to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 1 hour.  Season the stew with additional salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle with the chopped parsley.  Serve with crusty bread alongside.

Southwest White Chicken Chili

White chili is not something that ever really intrigued me in the past.  It never looks that appetizing in pictures and I always overlooked it.  I now realize I was making a mistake.  I had no idea what I was missing!

This chili, while vastly different from my traditional chili, is very good and very flavorful.  It had just the right amount of spiciness from the peppers, creaminess from the soup, and heartiness from the chicken.  It is a real winner and I’ll definitely make it again.

This picture looks like chicken and dumplings, doesn’t it?  Next time, I’ll cut the chicken into smaller pieces.  🙂

Southwest White Chicken Chili

source:  adapted from Campbellskitchen.com

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp olive oil

3 large chicken breasts, cut into small cubes

4 tsp chili powder

2 tsp ground cumin

pinch of red pepper flakes

1 large onion, chopped

2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 can reduced fat condensed cream of chicken soup

1 soup can of water

1.5 cups frozen whole kernel corn

1 can white beans {Canellini or Great Northern}, rinsed and drained

1 cup of low sodium chicken broth – optional {use more or less to reach desired consistency}

Directions:

Heat oil in a deep soup pot over med-high heat.  Add the chicken, onions, pepper, and spices.  Cook until chicken is cooked through, stirring often.

Add soup, water, corn, beans, and chicken stock.  Heat to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer at least 5 minutes.  Taste and adjust seasoning and add more broth accordingly.

Can serve with shredded cheese on top, but we didn’t.

Coconut Red Curry Lentil Stew

I don’t think I have ever seen a recipe on a blog one day and made it the very next day!  So, this was a first.  When I saw Cara post this, I immediately knew that it would be the perfect thing to make for our next dinner.  I knew with a few adaptations based on what I had on hand, it would suit us perfectly.  And it did!  It was perfectly delicious on a chilly night.

I didn’t really notice the coconut flavor, which was sort of disappointing but the warm curry flavor made up for it since it was certainly not lacking flavor overall.  I’m sure the coconut milk added some creaminess, so it was definitely a necessary ingredient. Surprisingly, the lentils retained some bite even after cooking so long.  I was really worried that they would be complete mush.  But, I was happy to be wrong!

Coconut Red Curry Stew

Source: adapted from Cara’s Cravings who adapted it from 101 Cookbooks

1 cup yellow split peas {I used green}

1 cup red split lentils {I think I used brown}

7 cups water

2 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice

2 stalks of celery, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh peeled and minced ginger {I used about 1 tsp ground ginger}

2 tablespoons red curry powder

2 tablespoons butter

8 green onions (scallions), thinly sliced {I used one small white onion, chopped}

1/3 cup golden raisins

1/3 cup tomato paste

1 14-ounce can coconut milk

1 teaspoon kosher salt

one small handful cilantro, chopped

toasted coconut, for garnish

Optional: 3oz raw shrimp per serving, peeled and deviened, shells removed

Start by rinsing the split peas and lentils. Put them in a bowl, add enough water to cover, and stir around. Drain through a mesh sieve. Repeat until water runs clear.  Place the rinsed lentils in a crockpot with the water.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, toast the curry powder until it is fragrant and has darkened a bit. Transfer to a small dish, add the ground ginger to it and set aside.

Heat the butter in the pan, add the onions, celery, and carrots.  Saute for two minutes, stirring constantly until softened.  Then add the raisins and stir.  Then add the tomato paste and cook for another minute or two.  Off the heat, whisk in the coconut milk and the toasted curry powder & ginger. Pour the coconut milk mixture into the crockpot, and season with salt.

Cover and cook on high for 6 hours. {I cooked it on low for 10 hours.}

If desired, season the shrimp with salt and pepper and cook by desired method until just opaque.

Add the shrimp to the top of each serving of stew.  Enjoy!

Hearty Beef Stew

I think this could be considered the perfect Sunday night meal during the winter months.  It takes a few hours to cook, so you’ll want to plan ahead, but it is not difficult at all.  A little hands on time is all it takes, and then the oven does the rest of the work.

I served the stew with Red Lobster biscuits.

Hearty Beef Stew
{source:  adapted from America’s Test Kitchen seen at Good Things Catered}

Ingredients:

3 lbs. beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 in. cubes {I used approx. 1.5 pounds of beef stew meat}

salt and ground pepper

3 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 medium onion, chopped coarse

2 celery stalks, sliced 1/4 inch thick

3 medium garlic cloves, minced

3 Tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour

3/4 c. dry red wine

1.5 c. low-sodium chicken broth

2 bay leaves

1 tsp ground dried thyme

4 medium red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-in. cubes

3 or 4 large carrots , peeled and sliced 1/4 in. thick

1 c. frozen peas  {I omitted}

1/4 c. minced parsley {I omitted}

Directions:
-Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
-Dry beef thoroughly and season generously with salt and pepper.
-Heat 1 Tbsp oil in Dutch oven over medium high heat.
-Add half the meat so that pieces are not touching and cook not moving until brown (about 2-3 min)
-Use tongs and rotate pieces until all sides are browned (about 5 additional min.)
-Transfer beef to medium bowl and add another 1 Tbsp oil to pan if needed, repeating previous steps with other half of beef.
-Reduce heat to medium and add additional 1 Tbsp oil to now empty pan and swirl to coat bottom.
-Add onions, celery, and 1/4 tsp salt and cook, scraping bottom of pan for brown bits until softened (about 5 mins).
-Add garlic and continue to cook for 30 sec.
-stir in the flour and cook until lightly colored (1-2 min.)
-Add wine, scraping the bottom and stiring until thick and flour is dissolved.
-Gradually add the chicken stock, stirring constantly scraping up the remaining browned bits on bottom of pan.
-Add bay leaves and thyme and return to simmer.
-Add beef, return to simmer, and place the pot in the oven.
-Cook for 1 hour.
-Add potatoes and carrots cover and return to the oven to cook for additional hour.
-Remove the pot from oven (here you can cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.)
-Add the peas, cover and allow to stand for 5 min.
-Stir in the parsley, discard bay leaves, adjust seasoning and serve immediately.

Sausage and Lentil Stew

This is another recipe that calls for an ingredient that I have never worked with before.  This time it was lentils, last time it was leeks and oddly enough, leeks are present in this recipe too.  I have wanted to try lentils for quite a while, but just never got around to it.  I’m glad I finally cooked with them.  We really liked this stew.  It has an earthy taste, but in a good way.

Due to poor planning on my part, I made this dish on a day that temps were near 70 degrees.  Who would have thought that would be the case in November?!  Especially when it was freezing in September this year! Anyway, it tasted great but would be better suited for a cold night.

I cut the recipe in half (approximately – I tend to wing it.) and the list below reflects my measurements.  I would say that my version serves 6.  Click the link for the full recipe if needed.

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Sausage and Lentil Stew

{source:  Smellslikehome, originally from Ina Garten; Barefoot in Paris}

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound lentils
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large yellow onions, diced
  • 2 leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (2 large cloves)
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 medium diced celery stalks {I’ll probably use 3 stalks next time}
  • 3 medium diced carrots
  • 32 oz. chicken stock or broth
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 pound kielbasa, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons dry red wine or red wine vinegar  {I used the vinegar}
  • Freshly grated Parmesan, for serving

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, cover the lentils with boiling water and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Drain.
  2. In a large stock pot over medium heat, heat the olive oil and saute the onions, leeks, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, and cumin for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are translucent and tender.
  3. Knock over the bottle of olive oil.  Watch in horror as it crashes to the floor in slow motion.  Cuss profusely for 60 seconds!
  4. Compose yourself and add the celery and carrots and saute for another 10 minutes.
  5. Add the chicken stock, tomato paste, and drained lentils, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour, or until the lentils are cooked through and tender. Check the seasonings.
  6. Add the kielbasa and red wine and simmer until the kielbasa is hot.
  7. Serve sprinkled with grated Parmesan.

ENJOY!

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