stewing away the winter
I have decided that this week will focus on comfort foods.
Stewing is a great way of putting meat and vegetables together and coming out with a tender, flavorful dish. Stewing, as far as I can tell, is the preferred cooking method for many comfort foods. It makes sense, historically speaking. People did not have the luxury of picking and choosing lean cuts of meat. The tougher parts needed some extra time to cook, and what better way of doing that than stewing? It’s the “set it and forget it” of the olden days.
Tonight’s dish comes from Iraq. It’s called Thareed (depending on who is transliterating, it could be spelled a number of ways), and is essentially a chicken and chick pea stew. It’s Iraqi comfort food to say the least, and is traditionally served with a bread called khubz al-tannour.
The recipe I originally had for this was for serving 6 people, so I scaled it back and used only what I had on hand. So, it’s my take on Thareed.
*the following is for one serving, with some leftovers*
1 chicken thigh, cut in half
1 yellow onion, quartered
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 small golden potatoes, quartered
1 can white beans
1 bay leaf
1 TBSP turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
3 c water
salt & pepper
2 TBSP olive oil
Flatbread of your liking
After gathering your ingredients, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onions, potatoes, bay leaf, turmeric, garam masala and salt. Cook until onions and potatoes are browned, about 10 minutes.
Add the chicken and water to the mix, stirring. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to medium and simmer uncovered until the chicken is tender. This will take about 25 minutes.
Add the beans. Cook for another 5 or so minutes. Ladle the stew over the flatbread. Squeeze some lemon or lime over, and you’re set.
The original recipe calls for curry powder, *not* garam masala. I did not have curry powder on hand, so I used what I felt was closest. The original recipe also calls for chick peas, *not* white beans. Again, I had no chick peas on hand. I also had no flatbread, and used leftover rice instead. If I had to do it over, I’d get the curry powder and I’d get the bread. I think the dish suffered without these ingredients. Although this dish wasn’t what I would consider a complete success, it happens and you, reader(s) should know.
Overall, I think this dish has pushed me toward one conclusion: I’m sick of stews at this point. This meal was hearty and flavorful, but I think I’ve stewed myself to capacity (I blame you, winter).
Tomorrow, I am off to a screening of Shutter Island, and Wednesdays are my leftover days…Thursday’s dinner: Golabki (Stuffed cabbage)!