I made this chicken stew in the last week of October, two pots of it, and everyone loved it. There were no leftovers. When I made it again – repeat.
This stew is easy and once you’ve got your prep out of the way, it only takes about forty minutes to cook. I made it on the fly, I winged it…the only thing that stopped me from posting it sooner was getting the measurements down. Once upon a time, I used to measure spices with teaspoons and sometimes tablespoons but now I rarely do unless I’m following a written recipe. Most days I just eyeball the amounts. (Eventually I’ll start eyeballing the amounts for those written recipes, too, if I make them enough times to know the recipes by heart.)
Cold weather is setting in, the days are getting shorter and even on the sunniest of days, one still needs to bundle up. This is the weather that requires tucking into a warm bowl of soup or stew after coming in from the cold. Thanksgiving comes earlier in Canada, we celebrate it a month earlier than Americans, and last week we made a chicken chili instead of having the traditional turkey. (We would have used turkey, but my Mum didn’t have her readers on when she went to pick it up. To be fair, though, the chicken and turkey (both ground) were close together.)
This will have been only the second recipe for chili I’ve made so far, and it’s a good one. It was an instant favourite with my family – there were no leftovers – and it has the traditional chili flavours with bacon and ground turkey (or chicken, which is tofu-like in that it absorbs the spices and flavours of the ingredients) and the addition of cocoa powder gives it depth and a subtle flavour of its own. (I had not used cocoa powder before in chili and despite my doubts, I was pleasantly surprised and happy I went along with it.) We also used red and white kidney beans in celebration of Canadian spirit.
One other recipe that caught my eye when I was reading Jacques Pépin’s The Apprentice, was for pasta primavera. (The first one was for eggs Jeannette.) One thing I love so much about M. Pépin’s recipes are their utter simplicity and ease; often this includes ingredients already in your kitchen.
This pasta was an instant hit with my family and it is on our repeat list. Everyone wanted seconds! The tomatoes and basil, with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper, marinate for a time while the noodles cook. It flavours the pasta, giving a pleasant and satisfying taste.