Friday, December 11, 2009

Hearty, Healthy Winter Meal

After last Friday's post about cookies, I didn't want you all to think that I only eat sugar during the holiday season. Because although I have been enjoying more than my fair share of holiday treats, I have also been cooking up a few winter-worthy dishes.
Like this hearty braised-chicken stew that we had for dinner earlier this week. It is a favorite at the Hillberry house, partly because it tastes SOOO good, and also because it is one of the easiest one-pot meals to whip up any night of the week.
First you start with root veggies. Incidentally, due to my veggie share at a local farm, I have a lot of these stashed around. Too many, really. So many, in fact, that I have been desperately searching for ways to cook them up, thus clearing space for my cookies.
And this dish is one of my favorite ways to use up carrots, onion and potatos. With chicken thighs. Allow me to just declare for a moment that chicken thighs are my favorite of all the chicken cuts. They are so tender and flavorful and easy to cook.

I would eat them every day
if I weren't already committed to that strategy with the cookies.

After the chicken is floured and herbed (as seen in the ziploc bag above), it is browned. As an aside, I am very excited for a new braising pot that I ordered recently, soon to arrive at my house. It will make this browning process oh-so-much fun. I'll probably feel compelled to blog about it, so be forewarned.
Once the chicken is browned, the carrots and onion are added. Do you notice the vibrant color of those veggies!? That, my friends, is the difference between locally-grown-from-the-farm and commercially shipped from who-knows-where. It is so pretty. Probably healthy too, but you all know how I'm more concerned with the "pretty factor."
Then comes the potatoes. I was a teensy bit alarmed when I cut into the spuds on the left and discovered their purple insides. But after determining that they were, in fact, perfectly fresh and not harboring some kind of fungus, I concluded that they must grow that way naturally.

Of course if I'm wrong and I die unexpectedly this week, you'll know why.

The chicken and veggies now simmer for half-an-hour or so on the burner with some chicken stock and white wine.

It doesn't even need stirring. In fact, I went upstairs during this step and worked the whole time it was cooking--that's how low-maintenance this dish is.
The final result is a hearty stew with a ton of flavor and the recommended quotient of healthy vegetables.

Which is almost as important
as the recommended quotient of holiday cookies.


To make this hearty dish for yourself this season, click here for the free recipe from Cooking Light!

Enjoy your weekend!

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