So, new month, new wild card topic. It is February, its a time when we are ready for a season change for being tired of the leaves being brown and that patch of snow on the ground. By golly, when the sun has gone down and the chill hits, you want nothing more than “comfort food”. The problem with that is that most comfort foods seem to derive their name from being carb and/or fat rich and that comfort you feel is that natural sedative of heavy, complex carbohydrates. So, why not come up with some ways to get those comforts of food that feel like a warm blanket while still being a little conscious of the fact that you have still been eating leftover sweets from the holidays. Thus, the challenge: healthy, nutrient rich comfort foods. (If you think of a snappy way to say it, let us know)
I must admit that this meal has its origins in the fact that the finale of Top Chef New Orleans is tonight and there always seems to be recipes starting with celery, carrots, and onions. At the store, I started there and just kept adding flavors to come up with a nice stew with some big flavors. MMMM
Grilled Chicken for the Stew:
Chicken legs and thighs, one each per bowl.
Zest of two lemons
Juice of 1 lemon,
3 cloves garlic, minced.
Salt and pepper
Mix zest, garlic, salt, pepper and 1/2 the lemon juice in a small bowl. Spread over chicken pieces and marinate about 30 minutes. Grill on a grill pan (or sear, depending on preference) until skin develops a good color, about 4 minutes. Place in 350 oven until it reaches 165 or so, 10 mins give or take). Squeeze other 1/2 lemon juice over chicken.
1 medium onion chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
2 tsp sage, separated
2 tsp thyme, separated
2 tsp red pepper flake
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 bay leaves
1 sweet potato, chopped
1 bunch kale, chopped discarding stems
4 cups chicken stock
1/8 cup flour
Heat oil and butter in dutch oven. Add the onions, carrot, celery and saute with 1 tsp of each sage, thyme, and red pepper with salt and pepper until softened slightly. Heat stock in separate pan.
Add flour to the vegetables and stir until coated. Heat for about 2 minutes to cool the flavor our of the flour. Stir in half the stock until the consistence of thick gravy. Add the remaining stock. Add in the sweet potato, remaining herbs and spices, and kale. Bring to a boil, stir, and simmer at least 15 minutes.
Serve the chicken and stew over a couple spoonfuls of a quinoa rice blend (2 cups water, 1 cup rice, bowl water, add rice, cook 15 mins until water absorbed) or brown rice.
This stew will have a light flavor will be packed with vitamins and fiber. The chicken will add a nice bright flavor that will mesh well with the flavors of the stew.
My belly was certainly happy. Hope yours will be to!