Monday, February 7, 2011

Taking Back the Kitchen

I have terrific friends. I have the kind of friends that will pull out a stove and dishwasher and delve into other dark places in the kitchen in order to find and eliminate the cause of SCAMPERERS. They will also come over and crawl around in the attic and on the roof looking for leaks and fixing said leaks.

Oh, and clean out the gutters while they’re up there.

And ask for nothing in return.

I even offered food as a paltry thank you but both politely declined. I sent them home with some, anyway.

I ran across this recipe several years ago. It’s just one of those dishes that’s perfect on a rainy day when you need something to stick to your ribs and make you feel cozy on the inside. Offspring 1 and 2 both love it, and I actually had the two of them together when I made this, so it was kind of a nice reminder of the days when we were all together.

It has a pretty lengthy list of ingredients, but it goes together quickly, especially if you prep a few things in advance and use some of the cooking time for the chicken to prep other things. Then it’s just a matter of dumping everything into the pot and letting it simmer.

As an added bonus, your entire house will have this spicy, Indian market aroma wafting through the air (for some reason I thought the origins of this were African, but I see more reference to British India).

Mulligawtawny Stew
adapted from Emeril Lagasse

4 Tbs ghee or clarified butter
1 1/2 pounds diced boneless, skinless chicken
2 tsp garam masala
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 cups onions, diced
1/2 cup carrots, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
2 Tbs garlic, crushed
1 Tbs minced ginger
2 cups peeled, cored and diced Granny Smith apples
1 cup peeled and diced Yukon gold potatoes
1 cup peeled and diced sweet potatoes
4 cups chicken stock
3/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 small zucchini, diced
1 cup tightly packed baby spinach
1 (14-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
3 cups steamed white basmati rice
1/2 cup toasted, finely ground cashews

Set a 4 or 5-quart soup pot over medium heat and add the ghee. Season the chicken with the garam masala and 1/4 tsp of the salt. Once the ghee is hot, add the chicken and cook, turning often, until golden brown and fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside to cool.

While the chicken is cooling, add the onions, carrots and celery to the hot pan and sauté until lightly caramelized, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger and apples to the pan and sauté until the apples are caramelized, about 7 to 8 minutes. Add the potatoes and sweet potatoes to the pan, along with the chicken stock. Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook the soup until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Add the reserved chicken, the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, the pepper, zucchini, spinach, coconut milk, and tomatoes. Continue to cook the soup at a simmer until the chicken is tender, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and stir in the cider vinegar. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Serve over rice and garnish with chopped cashews.

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