Friday, September 2, 2011

Spicy Chicken and Bean Stew

I recently connected my blog and google reader to my smart phone. Smart phones are, like, the best thing ever. I scoff at my former ignorance, having once thought my prehistoric, hot pink Motorola flip phone was cool. No, this Android thing is cool. With my newly downloaded apps, I felt so savvy and in-tune with the Interverse I browsed a bit and added a few new food blogs to my newsfeed: BBC GoodFood, SmittenKitchen, and Love & Olive Oil. The first recipe to show up on my phone had the words "spicy" and "stew" in the title, and I felt that the Interverse had come full circle, and I was happy.

This stew is hearty and light at the same time. Much of its flavor comes from the delightful brown bits from the chicken, so be sure to scrape those up and mix them into the veggies. It's got a kick of spice from the serrano peppers and chili powder, but the beans really help mellow it out. And by removing the chicken skin, it's not oily even though you are using dark meat. Quite a delightful stew for any time of year. I am adding it to my weekly menu rounds.

Spicy Chicken and Bean Stew (*Printable recipe*)
Kitchen Tested, Adapted, and Approved by the Jabbercookie
Inspired by a BBC GoodFood recipe

Serving Size: 4 Servings
Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: approx 15 minutes to chop veggies, de-skin chicken, and open cans.
Active Cook Time: approx 15-20 minutes to sautée chicken and veggies
Inactive Cook Time: 2-3 hours

Cooking Tools:
1 crock pot with sautée feature or,
1 non-stick skillet
1 cutting board
2 knives (one for veg, the other to deskin chicken)
1 plate
1 wooden spoon
1 pair of tongs
Paper towels

2.5 lbs chicken thighs or drumsticks, bone-in, de-skinned
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 small onions, diced & sliced mix
1 tsp. garlic, minced
2 serrano peppers, diced (deseed & derib if you don't like it too spicy)
8 oz. frozen bell peppers, defrosted
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 14 oz. can red kidney beans, drained
1 14 oz. can lima beans, drained
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 tsp. chili powder

Small bunch cilantro, chopped (amount per taste)

Tasty Accompaniments:
Steamed rice
Crusty bread or biscuits for sopping

Prep & cut onions, serrano peppers, and garlic and set aside. Then remove skin from chicken and discard (or set aside in a freezer-safe bag to make homemade chicken stock later). Dry chicken with paper towel.

Heat the extra virgin olive oil using the sautée feature of your crock pot, or in the non-stick skillet. Place patted-dry chicken in oil and brown on all sides. Remove the browned chicken to plate with tongs.

Add onions, serrano peppers, and garlic to the oil and fry for 5 minutes. Scrape up all of the brown bits from the bottom of the pan with spoon and keep stirring the mixture to avoid burning the garlic.

Make sure to scrape up all of those delicious brown bits. It will enhance the flavor of this dish immensely.

If using a skillet, move mixture to crock pot. Add frozen bell peppers, diced tomatoes with juice, drained beans, chicken stock, and chili powder and mix together. Put chicken and any accumulated juices back into the pot, set to "slow cook," and let it go for 2-3 hours. Adjust seasoning with salt & pepper to taste.

Sprinkle stew with chopped cilantro.
Serve in a bowl over steamed rice with a side of bread. Enjoy!

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