Sunday, October 24, 2004

Chicken and kabanoss stew

Per, my fiance, lodged some complaints regarding yesterday's entry. He wanted it duely noted that HE was indeed the one to do all the adding. I merely instructed. And indeed, this is how it went. Sorry, honey.

Today, we're cooking a chicken-kabanoss stew. It smells very promising indeed. Here's the recipe - created pretty much by tossing together things that were in our fridge.

-4 chicken thighs
-4 thin kabanoss sausages, thickly sliced
-1/2 red chili, seeds and all, chopped
-1/2 garlic (I like to use the solid garlics, if you use regular - I'd say about 4 cloves), chopped
-2 small onions, sliced
-1/2 leek, sliced
-3 carrots, sliced
-2 jerusalem artichokes (at least I think that's the name - small brown, nubbly things), sliced
-1 can (400 grams) of crushed tomatoes
-2 cans (I was lazy and just used the can while you certainly could use measuring cups) of water
-pinch of salt
-fat pinch of sugar
-some "herbes de provence" or whatever dried herbs you prefer
-olive oil

First, fry the sliced kabanoss in a dry pan until it has some color. Take out of the pan and set aside. Fry the garlic, chili and onions in a little bit of oil for about a minute. Put them with the kabanoss, Pour in a bit more oil in the pan and brown the chicken thighs, on both sides, for about five minutes. Then, it's time to lower the heat a little, add the kabanoss/garlic mixture, the carrots, the artichokes, the leek, the tomatoes, water (It should just about cover everything) and the herbes the provence. Cover with a lid, and let it simmer on low heat for half an hour.

After that, add sugar, salt and some cumin. It makes a very soupy stew, and I tried to make it a bit thicker with cornstarch.. but no great luck, which is why it's not included in the above recipe. Oh well. Cook, uncovered, for about ten more minutes, by which time the chicken meat should fall off the bones easily. Serve with some cumin-infused couscous.

This really was incredibly good! The chicken really soaks up the flavors of the spices, and the smoky kabanoss is a perfect partner for it. The couscous turned out perfect, I am so pleased! Instead of following the instructions on the packet like I usually do, I did it Nigella-style. (I have been quite unhappy with my couscous attempts before - often ending up with a soggy mess.) Nigella Lawson happens to be one of the chefs I like the most - I really enjoy reading her cookbooks, and she recommends this way to cook couscous in her latest one, Feast. She said to just put couscous in a bowl (we used about 130 grams for the two of us, and that was a little bit too much) with a pinch of cumin and salt, add boiling water from a kettle (we used 300 ml which was just right for the amount of grains) and cover the bown with a clingfilm for 15 minutes. (I think 10 would have been enough.) Perfect! Perfect! No added oils or fat, and yet perfect little nubbly grains of couscous. I'll never go back to my old method.

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