Look at the beautiful table Nicole set for this meal! When I look at this picture, I can still remember all of us trying to savor the meal, talking to each other and tending to the little ones all at the same time. It felt like a busy evening, but a great one spent in the company of friends.
Nicole and I had set a big goal for this evening. We were going to make a chicken stew and bake bread to go with it. I selected Sailu's Chicken stew recipe and made some adjustments, and for the bread we chose Susan's Laziest Loaf. I look forward to these cooking dates when we can chop, cut and cook together and exchange stories. I never realize when a couple of hours have gone by and hungry husbands, and children re-enter.
I made the chicken stew a few more times after the playdate and it came out great every time. It's perfect for cosy evenings when you want to catch up with friends and family and have a hearty bowl to go with it.
For the chicken stew, we decided to add some more vegetable and stick with low fat coconut milk. I also ground half of the garam masala with the fennel and it gave a wonderful aromatic smell to the stew. For a milder flavor I used white peppercorns instead of the black ones. Here is my tweaked recipes.
2-3 lbs chicken cut into bite size pieces
2 medium onions, finely sliced
2-3 medium potatoes, cubed (I left the skin on)
3 medium carrots, peeled and cubed
12-15 green beans, cut into smaller pieces
8-10 curry leaves
1/2 tsp ginger paste
3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
3-4 green chillis, (I didn't slit them but you could)
8-10 white peppercorns
1/4 tspoon turmeric powder
1/2 tpsoon fennel powder (I ground some fresh fennel seeds)
1/2 tsp garam masala pwd
2 cans light coconut milk
salt to taste
1 tbspoon lemon juice
1 1/2 tbspoon oil
1 tbspoon butter
chopped mint and cilantro mix (optional)
Add turmeric powder and combine. Add the chicken pieces and cook over medium heat for 7-8 minutes.
Add 1 can of coconut milk and salt and combine. Cook for another 5-6 minutes. Add garam masala powder, fennel paste, potato, carrots and green beans in the pan. Add the rest of the coconut milk and let it cook and the chicken and veggies are cooked and soft.
Turn off heat. And serve warm. I leave the lemon wedges and the mint cilantro mix in the bowl so everyone can customize their own.
Serve warm with rice or bread.
We ate ours with a French Bread that we baked using Susan's @ Well-Seasoned Cook's recipe. We followed it exactly and it worked well. The bread turned out soft and delicious as well and was perfect to soak up the last bits from the bowl.
Thank you Sailu and Susan for these wonderful recipes.