We had snow storm here in Western Massachusetts – only a few inches – but the streets were a disaster and I never made it to the grocery store. (I tell you, it sure is amazing how resourceful you can be when you’re hungry.) I dug around a bit in the old ‘larder’ and found two large half chicken breasts and peas in the freezer, a package of precooked diced potatoes, a half bag of baby carrots, a bit of ‘half and half’ cream, sour cream and cashews. I have a pretty good assortment of spices in the cupboard, so I decided to prepare a dish inspired by the spices of India.
The resulting stew has a lovely. subtle flavor because I added just a small amount of each of the spices. So subtle in fact, that even a professed ‘disliker of Indian food’ (if there is such a person) would very much enjoy this Indian-Inspired Chicken Stew.
I used chicken, since that’s what I had on hand, but you could use whatever you happen to have – pork, for example. Have leftover vegetables – add them in. Want a more robust taste – add more of each spice. Want a bit more heat – add more red pepper flakes. Don’t have sour cream. Add more ‘half and half’. As I like to say, “Make it yours’!
++ For an easy and delicious homemade chicken broth, place a rotisserie chicken carcass, along with some of the skin, in a large saucepan or Dutch Oven. Add enough water to cover. Add some chopped onion, carrots & celery. Add a bit of poultry seasoning, salt and pepper, and simmer for about an hour – uncovered. Stir occasionally and turn chicken carcass over once or twice. Allow to cool. Strain broth through a colander placed over a large bowl. And there you are! An excellent chicken broth to use right away – or freeze in a ziplock gallon bag for later use.
I used jarred spices. If you have fresh, so much the better!
- 1 Tbs. butter ++ Recipe calls for a total of 3 Tbs. butter
- 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
- 4 pinches cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. turmeric
- 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp. ground cardamon
- 1/2 tsp. dried cilantro
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 Tbs. butter
- 1/3 cup chopped green pepper
- 1 onion, roughly chopped – about 1 cup
- 1 tsp. fresh minced garlic – 2 to 3 cloves
- 4 cups peeled, diced and cubed potatoes ++ You could use sweet potatoes – or a mixture of both ++ I used a (20 oz) bag of Just Potatoes Diced Potatoes for two reasons…. I had it in my fridge & because the potatoes have already been peeled, diced and cooked, which I really like!
- 1 Tbs. butter
- 2 chicken breast halves, cut into chunks
- 2 1/2 cups cut baby carrots – cut into 1/3″ pieces
- 2 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed ++ Run the peas under hot water to thaw
- handful of whole cashews
- 4 cups chicken broth
- Added at the end ….. 2/3 cups half and half cream & 1/2 cup sour cream
Over medium heat, allow a stockpot or Dutch Oven to heat up a bit. Add 1 Tbs. butter, 1/2 tsp. dried cilantro, 1/2 tsp. ground cardamon, 1/2 tsp. ground coriander, 1/2 tsp. turmeric, 4 pinches cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper and 1/3 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds.
Add another tablespoon butter, 1/3 cup chopped green pepper and 1 cup chopped onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until green pepper and onions are softened. Add 1 tsp.minced garlic. Cook just until garlic softens, then add 4 cups peeled, diced and cubed potatoes. (Potatoes do NOT have to be cooked first.) Continue cooking and stirring occasionally for another few minutes. Remove spice and vegetable mixture for now.
Add another 1 Tbs. butter and chicken breast chunks. Cook until chicken is no longer pink on the outside. (The inside can be pink because chicken will finish cooking while stew simmers.) Add in the set-aside spice and veggies. Add 2 1/2 cups cut baby carrots, 2 1/2 cups thawed peas, a handful of cashews and 4 cups chicken broth. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.
Turn off heat. Add 2/3 cups half and half cream and 1/2 cup sour cream until combined
Enjoy! Or, in Hindi, ka aanand len.