It’s getting cooler in London now, the Christmas season is quickly approaching, and all I can think about is hearty, warming meals. (And cheese. And sweaters. )
American Thanksgiving was just yesterday, but to my disappointment, I hadn’t had the chance to plan a real celebration this year. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, but since I’ve been here, I’ve never celebrated on the day. After all, last year I made pasta. This year I had drinks with friends and ate some leftovers that are sort of like turkey… but not quite.
This is one of the most soothing and savory dishes that I’ve discovered since I’ve started collecting recipes, years ago. The chicken is so tender and soft, and the rich, deep tomato flavor follows you around like a puppy. Comforting and lovely.
Tomatoes, stock (or wine if you’re feeling saucy), vegetables, chicken pieces and one pot and before you know it, dinner is done. I haven’t tried a vegetarian version, because I think that another version of it would be a different recipe entirely, but it’s on the list of future experiments.
Check out those spices, and the purple carrots from our veg box.
On the Counter
1 tbsp olive oil
8 chicken drumstick and thigh pieces, skin-on
2 onions, sliced into thick rings
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 carrots, cut into chunks
2 celery sticks, cut into chunks
12 oz or 400g can plum tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
3 cups (700ml) chicken stock
1/2 cup sweet white wine (optional)
1 tbsp Coleman’s mustard
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
Salt and black pepper
Fresh parsley or cilantro (coriander) for garnish
What to Do
Heat the oil in a large soup pot until it shimmers. Add the chicken and brown on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove chicken and set aside.
Add the onions, sauté and occasionally stir until soft and translucent. Add carrots and celery, cook for 3-4 minutes until softened. Add garlic, cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Season vegetables with a pinch of salt.
Pour in the tomatoes and juice, plus the stock. Crush the tomatoes with a wooden spoon, breaking them up as much as possible. Stir and add tomato paste, paprika, mustard, oregano and thyme. Add in the browned chicken, season with sea salt and ground black pepper. Bring to the boil, then immediately reduce the heat. Place the lid on and simmer for 45-55 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it thickens to your taste.
When serving, top each bowl with a few sprigs of fresh parsley or coriander.
Just try to say no to a hearty stew on a cold, dank day. I don’t think it’s possible.