If you're looking for some quick and easy recipes for your Super Bowl party, Cumberland County's own Chef Donna Desfor has you covered with two stews.
Recipe: Rustic Italian Chicken Stew
Serves 4 to 6
This is a fast, easy and rustic stew that comes together in less than 1 hour. It is hearty and warming and perfect for a winter meal. The real magic in this dish is The Spice and Tea Exchange's Italian Fair Grinder Blend. The combination of classic Italian spices combined with smoky salt gives this dish a deep full flavor that takes simple chicken to a whole new level.
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
4 to 6 bone-in chicken thighs (about 3 to 4 pounds)
Coarse (Kosher) Salt
4 slices smoked bacon coarsely chopped (to yield about ¼ to ½ cup)
2 cups whole mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 red pepper, coarsely chopped
1 14.5-ounce can plum tomatoes (in juice) (use kitchen shears to cut up the tomatoes while in the can before adding to recipe)
TSTE Italian Fair Grinder Blend, to season
Place a large Dutch oven over medium high heat and add the grapeseed oil. Pat the chicken dry and season with coarse salt. When the oil is hot, add the seasoned chicken skin side down. Sear the chicken until well browned and the skin crisp, about 4 to 6 minutes. Turn the chicken and brown the other side, about 3 to 4 minutes longer. Remove the chicken to a plate and reserve. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the pan. Add the bacon and reduce the heat to medium. Sauté until the bacon begins to render its fat and begins to crisp, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and the mushrooms. Add a few grinds of TSTE Italian Fair Grinder Blend and toss to coat the mushrooms in the flavorful fat. Spread the mushrooms in an even layer in the pan and cook undisturbed for about 3 minutes, until the mushrooms are seared on one side and beginning to release their juices. Add the red peppers and stir to combine. Continue to cook until the peppers begin to soften then add the tomatoes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the mixture begins to thicken, about 5 minutes.
Return the chicken to the pot and nestle the pieces among the tomato mixture. Cover the pot and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes more.
Arrange the chicken pieces on a deep sided platter. Ladle the stewed tomato and mushroom sauce over the chicken. Serve immediately.
Recipe: Tex-Mex Chicken and Beans Stew
Serves 4 to 6
This recipe couldn't be faster, especially if you have precooked chicken on hand. If not, I recommend poaching your chicken with a blend of classic Mexican spices. The chicken stays moist and adds another layer of flavor to the stew. The recipe for the poached chicken is included for this dish, but stands alone as a great base to your favorite chicken salad recipe.
For the poached chicken
2 large (6 to 8 ounces each) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 bay leaves
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 large shallot, peeled and cut in half
1 teaspoon whole green or white peppercorns
1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 large cinnamon stick, broken into 2 pieces
½ cup tequila (I recommend and use Corralejo Blanco brand)
2 cups low-sodium, canned chicken broth
Bouquet garni made of 1 leafy celery stalk and about 8 sprigs of cilantro tied with kitchen twine
For the stew
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 small red onion, coarsely chopped to yield about ¾ cup
1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped to yield about ¾ cup
1 14.5-ounce can plum tomatoes in juice
1 14.5-ounce can pink or red kidney beans in sauce
1 cup medium (or mild) jarred salsa
2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, finely minced
2 large chicken breasts, poached and coarsely chopped (or substitute about 3 cups cooked chicken meat, chopped)
Coarse (kosher) salt and fresh ground pepper, to season
Sour cream, for service (optional)
Fresh chopped cilantro, for service, (optional)
Poach the chicken. Place the chicken into a medium-size sauce pan. Add the remaining ingredients. Add water to completely cover the chicken. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 8 minutes. Turn the heat off and
immediately cover the pot with a tight fitting lid. Let the chicken continue to "poach" in the hot liquid for a minimum of 30 minutes, or as long as 1 hour. Do not remove the lid during this cooking time.
Once the poaching liquid has cooled, remove the chicken breast and coarsely chop. Use in your favorite stew or other recipe.
Prepare the stew. In a stock pot or Dutch oven, heat the grapeseed oil and butter over medium heat. When the butter is melted add the onion and pepper, season with a bit of coarse salt and fresh ground pepper and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add in the tomatoes, beans, salsa, and chipotle chiles and cook until the mixture boils. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the mixture is just reduced and thickening. Add in the chicken and cook until heated through, about 5 to 8 minutes more.
Place the stew into a warmed soup tureen. Serve with sour cream and fresh chopped cilantro.
For more information, visit Chef Donna's website at www.theresachefinmykitchen.com