Monday, October 20, 2008

Chicken stew

So, what to do with the industrial size bag of mixed vegetables? Stew sounds good!

Cubed 2 chicken breasts and dry rubbed with Garam Masala and left on the counter for about 2 hours as it turned out. At this point in time I had a glass of wine and watched the start of the ball game. After about an hour I went back to work on dinner. Got out a big pot and started warming a container of chicken stock. Also started warming my wok. Diced two medium onions, carmelized them in the wok and added to the stock. Next in the wok was a bit more butter and generous helpings of minced garlic and Italian seasoning just long enough to fill the kitchen with their aromas. Cleaned the wok and added some peanut oil and then the chicken. When the chicken was cooked it went in the pot along with the mixed vegetables and diced tomatos. Brought up to a boil for 10 minutes and then reduced to a simmer for about an hour and a half.

This is an adaptation of a dish I had often growing up. a dozen chicken parts (wings, drumsticks, thighs) that were dreged in flour, salt, pepper and then fried. The veggies were a lb of carrots, a head of celery, 3 or 4 quartered onions, lima beans, corn and stewed tomatos. Served over rice or noodles. I have also made it this way.


Along the lines of I never make anything exactly the same way twice I had a can of sweetened condensed milk sitting around so in it went along with the normal stuff and a can of diced green chilies and a handful of shredded cheese. I prefer to use Masa rather than flour with the cornmeal so I add a bit more oil and a second egg to make it work. The was what I would call corn cake because of the sweet and while I prefer not sweet it is easier to give away some if it is. I never understood why the folks that prefer sweet couldn't just add some honey to theirs. This was cooked at 400° for 20 minutes in a 12" square cast iron griddle.

Chicken what?

I was reading the box of chicken stock (Emeril's) and it had a recipe for chicken soup. It had all the normal ingredients of veggies and pasta and of course some branded seasonings. What it didn't have as an ingredient was chicken. Does anybody else have a problem with chicken soup having only chicken flavor from the stock but no chunks of chicken? Leave me your comment.


Shannon said...

Chicken flavor without the chicken chunks is call broth. It's not soup. Chicken soup should have chicken chunks. It's like the cheap version of chicken and noodles where there's a bunch of noodles, a lot of broth and little itty bitty tidbits of chicken... I think. Again, Chicken Soup indicates and assumes there's actually chicken in it.

Knitterman said...

Mother's version of Brunswick Stew only had the wings. Did Dad include the other parts? Didn't realize they were cooked/browned first and then put into the stock.

Knitterman said...

Chicken stock, made from real chicken parts, DOES have chicken in it, so any soup made with real chicken stock can be called a chicken soup, or chicken-based soup, even if you don't see any chunks or bits of chicken meat remaining. But it should be real home-made chicken stock, whether the bits are there or not. After 8-10 hours of creating the stock all the goodies are in the stock anyway, not in the bits. It's the "tea-bag" theory, y'know.

Shannon said...

I never heard of mother's or dad's brunswick stew. Never had it growing up and never heard of Brunswick stew until I got down to Florida and Sonny's BBQ opened up in Vero in 2004.
And yes, you are right, Emeril's Chicken stock does have real chicken ... chicken fat in it.
The ingredients are: (from the side nutrition panel:

Ingredients: Chicken Stock, Sea Salt, Chicken Fat, Natural Flavors, Modified Corn Starch, (Processing Aid), Garlic Powder, Cooked Chicken, Spices, Vegetable Stock (Carrot, Celery, Onion, Leek, Red Bell Pepper, Tomato, Parsley, and Garlic).

Defintion of Stock:

Stock is a flavoured liquid. It forms the basis of many dishes, particularly soups and sauces. Stock is prepared by simmering various ingredients in water, including some or all of the following:

Bones - Veal, beef, and chicken bones are most commonly used. The flavour of the stock comes from the cartilage and connective tissue in the bones. Connective tissue has collagen in it, which gets converted into gelatin that thickens the liquid. Stock made from bones needs to be simmered for longer than stock made from meat (often referred to as broth).

Mirepoix - a combination of onions, carrots, celery, and sometimes other vegetables. Often the less desirable parts of the vegetables (such as carrot skins and celery ends) are used since they will not be eaten.

Herbs and spices - the herbs and spices used depend on availability and local traditions. In classical cuisine, the use of a bouquet garni (or bundle of herbs) consisting of parsley, bay leaves, a sprig of thyme and possibly other herbs, is common. This is often wrapped in a cheesecloth "bag" and tied with string to make it easier to remove it once the stock is cooked.
Broth is very similar to stock, and often the terms are used interchangeably. Usually, broth refers to finished product while stock is used as an ingredient (thus stock may become broth). Other times, broth is used to refer to a liquid made in the same way as stock but meat is substituted for bones. However, with some stock/broth made from vegetables and some made from both bones and meat, this cannot be considered a hard-and-fast rule.

Today, ready-made stock and stock cubes consisting of dried, compressed stock ingredients are readily available. These are commonly known as bouillon cubes (or oxo cubes, after a common brand of stock cube sold in Britain) or cooking base.