Sunday, October 31, 2010

Paprika Chicken - like a chicken stew

New photo of Paprika Chicken aka Chicken Stew - by The Souper - 2012

Chicken stew is comfort food to me. This Paprika Chicken Recipe aka "Chicken Stew" is a favorite of mine. Without copying directly from a recipe I found years ago, I am going to take you through the steps to prepare this yummy, satisfying, one-pan meal. The basic ingredients and prep steps are here, but let your tastebuds and imagination create your special chicken stew. Make a lot because you will crave more the next day, I am sure. Of note, the original recipe found in a newspaper used chicken thighs on the bone, white potatoes, carrots and pearl onions.

The Souper

Prep before cooking to have kitchen supplies and ingredients ready to use:
One large frying pan with matching cover
One large rimmed baking sheet lined with wax paper
Large platter for partially cooked chicken
Pair of tongs
Wooden spoon
Large serving fork
Large platter or serving plate for cooked chicken dish

Chicken parts to include white and dark meat on the bone to fit in large frying pan. (or boneless chicken breasts/thighs work well also)
Butternut squash and/or sweet potatoes cut into cubes (white potatoes are good, too.)
Pearl onions or cut a large onion in slices
Carrots cut into small pieces (about 2-3)
Celery cut into small pieces. Two stalks. (optional)
Canola oil, about 3 tablespoons at beginning, may need more during cooking.
Paprika, enough to coat all the chicken parts generously on both sides. (Smoked paprika adds another depth of flavor to this dish.)
Kosher Salt and ground black pepper on both sides of the chicken parts.
Dry white wine, 1/2 cup (optional)
Chicken broth, low sodium from box, about one cup. (use more if not adding the wine.)
White flour or cornstarch - enough to cover the vegetables while cooking
Fresh parsley, chopped, as a garnish to cooked dish.

Photos during the prepping/cooking process:

Prepare to cook:
Place chicken on the baking sheet lined with wax paper.
Coat both sides of chicken with Kosher salt, crushed black pepper and generously sprinkle with paprika to cover the chicken totally.
Let all the spices set into the chicken for several minutes.
Add the canola oil into large frying pan and turn heat on the stove burner up to medium-high.
Begin to put uncooked, coated chicken into the heated frying pan. Let the chicken parts cook for a few minutes to brown before turning them over with tongs.
Remove partially cooked chicken to a large platter after they have browned on both sides. (may have to do this in batches if making a large amount of chicken.) They will be returned to the frying pan to finish cooking after other ingredients have been added.
Add a bit more olive oil into the frying pan and add onions and stir them around with the wooden spoon until a bit soft.
Add the butternut squash or sweet potatoes along with the carrots and celery. Keep stirring the veggies around until they soften.
Sprinkle the veggies with the flour or cornstarch and keep stirring for a minute or two to coat all the veggies with flour. It is ok if there is browning at the bottom of the fry plan.
Slowly add a 1/2 cup dry white wine and stir the veggies with a wooden spoon while scraping off brown bits from the frying pan into the mixture for flavor. Then add chicken broth and keep stirring the veggies around creating a nice sauce.
Put the partially cooked chicken back into the frying pan on top of the cooking veggies. After chicken and veggies come to a low boil, lower heat under the pan to low temperature. Cover the frying pan with a matching lid and continue to cook the stew mixture until all veggies are soft and the chicken is fully cooked, about another 20-30 min.
The stew should be cooking at a low boil on low heat to finish the dish.
Adjust flavor after a taste test by adding more salt or crushed black pepper when the stew is fully cooked and ready to serve.

Put the cooked chicken on a clean platter or large serving dish. Spoon the cooked veggies all around the chicken.
Spoon more of the gravy all over the chicken and veggies.
Sprinkle chopped, fresh parsley over the entire stew and serve.


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Spice Swirl Soup

Colorful Ingredients in Spice Swirl Soup

Hearty, spicy and comforting. Soup base is non-dairy and gluten-free. Can be totally vegetarian by using vegetable broth. This recipe utilizes basic cooking techniques of roasting, pureeing and heating on stovetop. The best way to enjoy veggies.

Bowl of Roasted Vegetable Soup

Recipe Prep:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Food processor (or blender)
Large spoon or spatula
Wooden spoon
Kitchen knife
Vegetable peeler
Cutting board
Pot holders
Large soup pot with matching lid
Measuring cup
Two, large rimmed baking sheets
Parchment paper (for easy clean up)
Assorted veggies to roast

Floating The Spices While Soup Is Cooking In The Pot:
Before "The Swirl" Through The Soup

Olive oil
Eggplant, small to medium, washed, peeled and cubed
Butternut squash, one small or half of large, peeled and cubed
Carrots, two or three, washed, peeled and cut into disc shapes
Red pepper, one large (washed, seeds taken out, cut into small pieces)
Onion, one large(Vidalia or red onion; peeled and sliced in strips)
Garlic, two cloves, not peeled and left whole
Chicken broth, three cups, boxed or canned, low-sodium
Water, 3-4 cups, cold
Spices: one teaspoon, dried, of the following
Cumin, turmeric, paprika, cinnamon, ginger, Kosher salt.
Red pepper flakes, 1/4 teaspoon
Bay leaves, two whole dried leaves
Kosher salt, added during the cooking process for personal taste.

Preparing to make Spice Swirl Soup:
After the veggies have been washed, dried and cut, put them on the lined baking sheets in one layer so they will roast more efficiently.
Drizzle the cut veggies with some olive oil before roasting.
Sprinkle the veggies with Kosher salt also before roasting.
Roast the veggies in the preheated oven for about 20-30 minutes, until browned.

When veggies have cooled from roasting, puree them in small batches in a food processor or blender along with some of the chicken or vegetable broth (one or the other.) Note: peel the roasted garlic and add to food processor.
After puree of each batch of roasted veggies, put the mixture into large soup pot.
Add remaining water, bay leaves and bring to low boil with cover on the pot.
Once the soup is boiling, turn heat down to low.
Add the spices to float on top of the soup in colorful piles and then with a wooden spoon, begin to slowly swirl around through the spices to blend them into the cooking soup.
Keep tasting the soup and adjust flavor to your liking by adding additional salt. (easier to correct flavor while cooking than adding too much salt at the beginning of the cooking process.)Salt helps with the blending of all the spice flavors.
When the soup is heated sufficiently, it is ready to serve in individual bowls.

Serving suggestions:
Serve with hearty tortilla chips, melting cheese, homemade croutons.
Add any cooked protein leftovers such as: chicken, sausage, ground beef, sauteed shrimp. This makes a complete meal-in-a-bowl.

Spice Swirl Soup tastes even better the next day. Have extra chicken or vegetable broth to loosen the thickened soup or just add more water. This soup freezes well, too.

The Souper
Spice Swirl Soup on FoodistaSpice Swirl Soup