Chicken and Parsnip Stew

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

So what has happened to the weather?  One minute we were basking in gorgeous spring sunshine, the next, blustery rain, cold winds, grey skies.  I had to reach for my winter coat again when I was hoping oh so optimistically that we were through with each other for the time being.  Maybe I’m just suffering from coat boredom.  I’ve been wearing this thing for months...time for a change please!
The current bad weather has had me craving winter foods again.  This chicken stew has been a staple of our weekends all through the winter months.  I love it.  Parsnips are just about the best vegetable in the world in my opinion and although I love them roasted they work so well here.  As the stew cooks they break down and sweeten the stock.  Delicious and comforting.
These photos were taken a little hastily.  Thanks to the longer days and a burst of sunshine through the grey just as we were sitting down to dinner, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to snap this meal and share it with you.
Recipe adapted from BBC GoodFood
Serves 2
Olive oil
3-4 chicken thighs, skin removed
1 onion chopped
2-3 Parsnips peeled and chopped in to sticks
500ml Chicken stock*
½ teaspoon honey (I use manuka for the health kick)
Thyme leaves
Make up your chicken stock adding half a teaspoon of honey.  Oil a casserole dish and brown the chicken thighs.  Once they are golden set aside.  Add your onion to the same pan and cook for five minutes until soft and translucent.  Return the chicken to the pan and add the parsnips.  Sprinkle over the thyme leaves then pour in the chicken stock.  Cover and simmer.  *I usually use the full 500ml and let the stew simmer for 90 minutes but the chicken can be ready in 45-60 minutes so if you are cooking it for a shorter amount of time use less stock.  After 90 minutes of cooking the parsnips will be very soft and the chicken will fall away from the bone.  I usually lift the bones out at this stage breaking the chicken up with a spoon.  I also like to add some green veg to the pot about 5 minutes before the stew is ready to serve.  Here I used tenderstem broccoli but usually I use kale, spinach or frozen peas.  Adjust your cooking time accordingly.  Spinach and kale only need a couple of minutes to wilt.  Serve over brown rice and enjoy.

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