Saturday, October 12, 2013

Must be October

It must be October when...
  • I don't have much time to blog
  • The scenery is gorgeous everywhere I go, and even just looking out the window
  • Pumpkins abound (this teeny one fills me with delight)
  • The farmers' market has the most gorgeous spinach ever
  • I'm making hearty stews and eating by candlelight again.
The stew tonight is one of my very fall/winter favorites, found years ago in Ricciotti & Connelly's Pregnancy Cookbook, which I first encountered 13 years ago...!  I make it several times every year.  It's hearty, flavorful, and satisfying.  I think that one could skip the chicken and use vegetable broth to make an excellent vegetarian version (vegan even!).  

Lentil Stew with Chicken and Rosemary

2 Tbsp olive oil
About 1-1 ½ lb chicken breast, cubed
1 Spanish onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 Tbsp & 1 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
1 ½ tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried thyme
2-3 med carrots, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
4 med. red potatoes, cubed small
About 2-3 cups butternut squash, cubed small
Salt to taste
1 ½ cups lentils, picked through and rinsed
1 cup dry red wine (or extra chicken broth)
5-6 cups water or chicken broth
½ lb spinach, roughly chopped, washed, and drained (or, just buy baby spinach)
Pepper to taste

1.     Heat olive oil in large soup pot over high heat.  Add chicken cubes and sear for a few minutes.  Remove chicken and set aside.
2.     Reduce the heat and add the onion, sautéing until soft.  Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant.
3.     Add the rosemary, basil, and thyme and sauté for 30 seconds.  Add carrots, celery, potatoes, squash, and salt.  Steam sauté the vegetables (covered) for 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently. 
4.     Add the lentils and return the chicken to the pot.  Stir well, and cook for 2 minutes.  Raise the heat and add the wine and simmer until wine is evaporated (about 3-5 min).
5.     Pour in the broth or water, and bring the stew to a boil.  Reduce the heat, cover the pot, and simmer the stew, stirring occasionally, for about 30 min.
6.     Add the spinach and cook the stew until the spinach is wilted, but still bright green.  Add pepper to taste (and more salt if you want).
I often double this recipe and freeze it in dinner-sized portions.  

I do so love the fall...I wish I had more time to enjoy it, but I'm grateful for the moments when I can!

No comments:

Post a Comment