We are definitely coming down the backstretch for summer, the beans, etc have shot their bolt and the spousal unit has been canning up a storm. It was chilly enough last night for the cats to want to come in, and I have been making and freezing soups for my lunch.
This one is yummy. The original recipe is from Cook’s magazine, although they used couscous, chickpeas and leftover rotisserie chicken. I used what I had on hand, namely rice, pinto beans and frozen chicken thighs.
Cook’s Magazine Chicken Stew
2 T oil
1 onion, peeled and sliced thin
4 chicken thighs, de-boned and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup uncooked rice
1 ½ t. garam masala
1 can diced tomatoes (with juice)
2 cans pinto beans, rinsed
1 32 oz carton chicken broth
2 zucchini or summer squash, cut into quarters and then ½ inch slices
Salt to taste
Red pepper flakes and freshly ground pepper (optional)
Heat the oil in a big heavy-bottomed pot over medium high heat. Cook the onion until it is limp, then add the chicken and stir until it starts to get white. You don’t need to brown the chicken and the onion, the soup has enough flavor. Pour in the rice, then sprinkle it over with the garam masala. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is transparent.
Add the tomatoes, beans, and broth, and allow it to come to a gentle boil. Stir it up, cover, turn the heat to low and allow it to simmer for 15 minutes.
Taste for salt, add the zucchini and cook for 5-8 more minutes, until the squash is tender. Add red pepper flakes and ground black pepper to your bowlful if you want to spice it up a bit, but it’s pretty good as is. Lovely subtle flavor from the garam masala.
This is a nice “cupboard meal,” with just about everything available in the pantry or freezer except the zucchini. I suppose you could substitute frozen vegetables but I’d shy away from anything too strong-tasting, such as broccoli. It makes a very thick soupy stew and freezes nicely. The original recipe said four servings but I got one dinner and seven 2-cup freezer bags out of it. If de-boning the chicken thighs frustrates you, as it did me, just toss them into the pot and cut the meat off after it is cooked.
("Still Life With Kitchen Items," attributed to Martin Dichtl).