Friday, November 9, 2012

"Spanish Chicken Stew"

I put the name of this post in quotes because I don't necessarily trust that the recipe is, in fact, Spanish, from Spain. Sure they might eat olives and chicken and paprika in Spain, but I'm still not convinced enough to call it Spanish without the quotes. And I know I don't usually cook meat or post about meaty recipes on Ripe, but ever since my friend and I cooked a confit chicken thang I've been really into doing the chicken confit thing a lot. It's so easy and kind of awesome - what you do is buy chicken pieces with skin on, turn a pan on low, and throw the chicken in there, skin-side down. The fat literally melts off the skin, and also browns it, making it super crispy for later. You then remove the chicken from the pan, set aside, and drain most (all but 1 T) drippings from pan. Then you cook your veggies in the chicken fat. Cool, huh? And when ready, add the chicken back, cover with a lid or braise in liquid of your choice until done and Voila! You're done.

So this is a recipe based on one in a Williams Sonoma cookbook. So weird, because I wasn't in a Williams Sonoma and I usually think their cookbooks are horribly uncreative and generic, but this one was good! (Anyone want to buy it for me??) Anyway, really, it was in the coop and I read it while browsing on the hunt for something to bring to a pot luck this weekend (more to come on that later). And I'm glad it was there because I found something to make this weekend and for dinner tonight, too!

Spanish Chicken Stew
2 chicken legs with thighs attached, skin on, patted dry and salt and pepper sprinkled on each side
2 bell peppers of any color, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tomatoes, diced
2 t smoked paprika
1 head cauliflower cut into florets
1/4 c chopped, pitted green olives
3/4 c cooked or canned chickpeas

Cook the chicken as described above over low heat. Remove from pan. Pour off all fat from pan except 1 Tablespoon. On medium heat, saute peppers and onion, about 5 min. Add garlic, and then tomatoes, paprika and cauliflower. Cook over medium, stirring occasionally, another 5 min. Add chicken back to pan and cover. Cook on low heat with mixture simmering about 40 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Add olives and chickpeas and cook until heated through, about 10 minutes. Serve with rice or potatoes.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Empty House Lentil Soup

No vegetables in my fridge, no gas in my car, no knowledge of a nearby gas station with gas to sell me, and no desire to waste my hard earned cash on eating out. On the fourth day of being shacked up in my apartment, and for the first time in a WHOLE WEEK that no one is home when I am home (a topic for another day...), I wanted to eat dinner. But how? you ask. Empty House Lentil Soup, that's it!

OK, I lied. I had carrots in the fridge and 1.5 onions and some garlic. And cilantro that I bought by accident in a rush thinking it was parsley. And some lemons. So here is how I fed myself from my pantry and limited cold supplies. I honestly wouldn't post this recipe if it wasn't tasty, and I'll just say this soup saved me and I think has turned into something I would actually make again! And thank you to Laurel's Kitchen for inspirational "Golden Broth" (which is basically the first 6 ingredients minus the cumin).

1 T olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 whole clove garlic
1/2 t tumeric
1/2 t cumin
1/2 c split yellow peas
1 1/2 c lentils
2 carrots, diced
8 c water
salt and pepper to taste
cooked soba noodles
fresh chopped cilantro
1 T butter
1/2 onion, sliced thin
lemon wedges

In a medium saucepan, saute onion, garlic, and spices in olive oil. Add the peas, lentils, and carrots when the onion is translucent, then add the water. Stir, bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Let simmer 45 min to 1 hr. Season to taste, and then puree some of the soup if you want. In a separate pan, caramelize the sliced onions in melted butter. (cook over low heat for 15 min or until turning brown.) Serve soup in mugs or bowls with soba noodles in the bottom and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro, browned onions, and a squeeze of lemon on top.