Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Hunter Chicken Stew with Mushrooms and Green Beans

hunter chicken stew

Jeebus, it took three tries to get this right. Pureeing the onion and celery into the broth on the first try like I did for the classic and brunswick stews didn't work, unless you don't mind your stew looking like Campbell's tomato soup. Nevermind the second try, I was rushed and didn't have mushrooms and doubled the green beans instead—nnnnn. So I strained the broth for the third try and contemplated what self-respecting hunter would throw out perfectly nutritious onions and celery, but I knew from veganly beans that broth plus tomato paste would be gorgeously red. And I really couldn't bear to ruin the picture out of overreaching ambition and have to make this again, because I have lots more ideas for chicken stews! But probably you could add them back in, I will say though that the way it's written it has a nice oniony celery-y flavor and otherwise it's all about the mushrooms. Oh and, the whole head of garlic.

an onion
two stalks celery
4-5 chicken thighs
2 cups water

1 lb mushrooms
1/2 lb frozen green beans
1 head garlic
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp or half a small can of tomato paste

Peel and chop the onion, and trim and chop the celery including the leaves if they look nice. Put the onion, celery, chicken, and water in a soup pot and bring to a strong simmer over high heat. Then turn the heat to low and let simmer partially covered for an hour.

Heat oven to 500 degrees. Wipe and quarter the mushrooms, and separate the head of garlic into cloves and peel them by smashing them open under the flat of your knife. Toss the mushrooms, green beans, and garlic with olive oil and a little bit of salt. Roast for 30 minutes. Mushrooms and also frozen green beans give off a lot of water, so after 15 minutes you might like to drain and save the excess liquid in a small bowl, give the veggies a check and a stir, and put them back in the oven for another fifteen.

When the chicken is done, remove it to a cutting board and set aside. Pour the remaining broth and vegetables through a strainer, set aside the broth and discard the vegetables. When the mushrooms and green beans are done, they can hang out in their pan until the chicken is cool enough to skin and take apart with your hands. It's kinda gross, but you can feel quicker with your hands what's meat and what's a glob of fat or gristle; hands are good tools. But then I use a knife to finish cutting the chicken into bite-size pieces.

Pour the broth back into the soup pot. If you have reserved mushroom liquid, you can throw that in too. Stir in the tomato paste and simmer over medium high heat until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

Stir in the mushrooms, green beans, and chicken. Simmer a few more minutes until heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.