Unfortunately there’s been a distinct lack of blogging action of late and way too many nasty germs floating around at Chez Foti. Viruses, bugs and colds a plenty but I’m keeping everything crossed the family’s all better by the end of the weekend. Even Dotty the pup was rushed to the emergency vets with a life threatening tick bite. Yes really!. Without the hefty injection and drugs he gave her she wouldn’t have made it much more than another 12 hours apparently. Luckily I myself have managed to escape the worst of all this sickness, bar the usual night nurse sleep deprivation and requirement to watch round the clock CBeebies anyway.
This was our first stew of the winter. A gloriously warming, boldly flavoured and slightly sticky stew of Chicken, Pumpkin and Borlotti Beans. The ingredients are loosely based on a Leon recipe I made a few times last year, but I’ve chopped and changed everything around quite a bit from the original here. The kids both loved it, and as Jacques’s going through a particularly fussy stage these days I was delighted that he devoured his bowl. Flavoured with plenty of rosemary, red wine vinegar, a little chilli, garlic and honey, what’s not to like?
I used my homegrown borlotti for the first time in the stew and was very happy with the results. Whilst the yield from the plants was more than a little disappointing the small harvest I have will allow for three or four more hearty family meals over the winter. I think I’m going to give them another whirl next year, even for the gorgeous pods alone:
Try to marinade the chicken the night before, or at least a few hours, to boost the wonderful flavours. I served it for the kids with mash as they love their mash, and for us with couscous. The latter being a little hit and miss with the littlies these days and thus unworthy of the rejection risk!.
If you don’t have any flavoursome pumpkin it can happily be substituted with a tasty squash.
Chicken, Pumpkin & Borlotti Stew
Toddlers & Young Children, Bigger Kids, Family Dinners, Just Grown Ups
For the Marinade:
2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
a tablespoon of wholegrain mustard
a tablespoon of honey
a tablespoon of olive oil
a heaped tablespoon of chopped fresh rosemary
2 bay leaves
a fresh red chilli, seeds removed and finely sliced (less for kids or those adverse, if they don’t like a little heat)
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
a generous pinch of black pepper
4 free range chicken thighs, skin removed
For the Stew:
a large onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
500g of flavoursome pumpkin or squash, peeled, seeds removed and cut into chunks
400g can of chopped tomatoes
400g can of borlotti beans, drained, or 125g of soaked and pre-cooked dried beans
500ml of chicken stock
Place all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and combine, then thoroughly rub into the chicken thighs. Cover and leave in the fridge to marinate for a few hours or overnight.
Once marinated remove the chicken from the bowl and set aside the lovely marinade which you’ll use later. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large casserole or heavy based pan. Fry the chicken until golden on all sides, remove from the pan and set aside.
Add the onion to the same pan. Fry for 5 minutes before adding the carrots and pumpkin. Continue to cook for a further 5 minutes before throwing in the rest of the marinade, chicken thighs, chopped tomatoes, borlotti beans and stock.
Give everything a good stir and bring to a simmer. Cover and allow to slowly simmer for an hour. Et voila, one big pot of healthy loveliness!. Taste and season to suit and serve.
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