Monday, August 24, 2015

Midnight Chicken Stew

Okay, first off I have to say that I rarely look forward to cooking when I get in from work as it is, most often, after 9:00pm or later. Sometimes it's because I had a late "lunch" around 6:00 that consisted of a big sandwich or some other culinary delight from Chef Al at Magruder's deli. Sometimes I'll be in a rush because of some event at work and end up with one of my junk faves, a Double Whopper with Cheese from Burger King (though, personally, I like Wendy's better but there isn't one nearby). That being said, I'm not really hungry when I get in. The problem here is that I know I'll be up as late as 2:30am unwinding. I listen to my records or watch TV or watch DVDs of "Fringe" or "Wonderfalls". I then realize that, if I go to sleep, I'll just wake up later hungry. So then I decide that I have to eat dinner but I want to make something quick and easy because I don't want to stay up all night cooking Carbonnades de Boeuf  à la Flamande but I also don't want go to to sleep on just a bowl of cereal (or, worse yet, a bag of Kettle chips!).
     One of my go-to meals is perfect for staving off the 4:00am rumble tummy, a quick chicken stew. Made with ingredients that I try to keep stocked in my "Armageddon Cabinet" it's hearty yet light enough that I won't have nightmares like a character out of Windsor McKay's "Dreams of a Rarebit Fiend".  In the recipe I use chicken thighs, sometimes the skinless boneless kind, because I like dark meat. You can use whatever parts you like just be aware that cooking times may differ slightly.

4 to 6 chicken thighe
14oz can of diced tomatoes (I like DelMonte Zesty with Jalapeno Peppers)
3 cloves of garlic chopped as fine as you like
1 med. onion cut up how you like
2 potatoes cubed
some sliced mushrooms
dried basil to taste (if I use fresh I don't add it until I add the broccoli)
some fresh broccoli florettes
about 1tbl oil for sauteeing
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a skillet and sear chicken on high heat until a little golden. Remove from pan. I usually just put it in a bowl on the stove. With the skillet still on high heat sautee the onions and garlic until the onions are soft. Put the chicken back in, add tomatoes, salt, pepper and basil and cook for about 15 minutes. Add potatoes and simmer on medium heat until they are fork tender. Add mushrooms and broccoli and continue to simmer until is tender and bright green. Serve with hot rice.