Spicy Chicken Stew

Spicy Chicken Stew

1 tsp black peppercorns (or 1/2 tsp ground pepper)

1/2 tsp ground coriander seeds (or 1/4 tsp ground coriander)

1 tsp sweet paprika

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1 lb. boneless and skinless chicken breasts

1 lb. boneless and skinless chicken thighs

1 Tbsp safflower or vegetable oil

2 tsp butter

1-1/2 cups thinly sliced yellow onion

1 large clove garlic, minced

2 tsp minced fresh ginger

1 small habanero chile, seeded and minced

About 1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 cup dry red wine

2 Tbsp tomato paste

3/4 cup chicken broth

Generous cup yellow squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1/4 cup each: fresh mint and basil leaves, coarsely chopped

1 tsp arrowroot dissolved in 1 Tbsp cold water

If using whole peppercorns and coriander seeds, grind finely in a spice grinder with the paprika and cinnamon. Sift through a very fine sieve. If using ground pepper and ground coriander, stir together with the other spices and set aside. Cut the chicken into roughly 1-1/2-inch chunks and set aside.

Heat the oil and butter together in a heavy-bottomed 5-quart pot over medium-low heat. Add onions and sauté 10 minutes. Add garlic, ginger and habanero; sauté 2 minutes. Stir in chicken, spices and salt, stirring to coat. Pour wine into pot and simmer, stirring, 3 minutes.

Whisk together the tomato paste and broth. Pour into pot. Stir in squash, along with half of the mint and basil. Bring just to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, 15 minutes. Uncover and continue at a simmer about 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and the squash is tender. Stir dissolved arrowroot into the simmering liquid. Cook 2 minutes. Stir in remaining herbs. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Serve with rice or bread.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.


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