Monday, September 28, 2009

Chicken Stew with Artichoke hearts Over Pesto Couscous

From Alphabeet Soup

After spending a whopping hour in Whole Foods trying to figure out an Artichoke recipe to start off Artichoke Week, I emerged clutching two giant sacks. In these sacks were artichokes (clearly), rotisserie chicken, canned artichokes in water, herbs, Better Than Bouillon vegetable stock, pesto pearl couscous, freeze-dried porcini mushrooms and canned crushed tomatoes. It was looking like I was making Chicken stew with Artichoke hearts.

First up- chopping up some white onions I had on hand. It was rough work, as I was racing the tears that were building, but got them into my Martha Stewart Dutch Oven. Olive oil, salt, and pepper (the seasoning bff's), all in there, as I saute the onions. I added a last minute cup of chopped carrots and I was in motion. Add some water to the onions and carrots once the onions are translucent or you are going to have a pot full of sadness, believe me I've done that plenty.

With the onions and carrot diligently doing their darnedest in the pot I started at the chicken.

IPhone: check. Speakers: check. Boyfriend's playlist: check. I highly recommend Dr. Dre and Aesop Rock when eviscerating chicken, somehow it just works.

OK back to the foul nature at hand...sorry had to go there. Rip that chicken apart. Problems at work? Issues with the boss? Tell that chicken how it is. TPS Report THIS!! Now you have a bowl of bones and skins and a bowl of meat (minus a few snuck morsels while I work). Oh and if you are like me, you can choose this opportunity to almost dump the entire cutting board of chicken juices, skin pieces and random bones on to the kitchen floor. Luckily, I have a roommate who loves to clean, at least that's what helps me sleep at night.

Add more water and some of the bouillon paste. I think I added about 6 cups of water but basically I filled it half full. Add the chicken carcass and some of the choicest skin pieces, a few sprigs of sage, rosemary and stripped twigs of thyme. (note: I almost posted this without mentioning the 4 cloves of garlic that I crushed with my knife and threw in whole, a nearly tragic omission)

Things are about to start smelling goooood. Really really good. Right about now people will start cycling through the kitchen with their noses in the breeze trying to track down what smells so divine. Roughly chop up the can of artichoke hearts and throw those puppies in along with the mushrooms.

Now it's time for a glass of wine. Let the soup boil down a bit. Let the yummy bones, skin and herbs ooze their flavors into the soup. Once you feel confident that what's in your pot is the straight bizness, with some tongs, remove the chicken bones and herb sticks.

Now we get to dump in that chicken meat and the can of crushed tomatoes.

Almost forgot the cup of red wine, add that here as well. Now your soup might taste a bit too tomatoey at this point. You're sad, I know, but trust me that once it boils down a bit it will mellow out and blend together into a maelstrom of flavor that will put you on your keister. But if you feel like it, throw in some more salt. Keep the lid off the pot. Let the wine cook into the tomato. Tomato and wine are like those irritatingly cute people on the eHarmony website, once they were matched and read each other's profiles it was love. True tomatoey winey love.

Start the couscous so that you have something to do while Tomato and Wine flirt with each other shamelessly. By the time the couscous is cooked you have Chicken Stew with artichokes.

I put a 1/2 cup of the couscous in my bowl, ladled the chunky soup over and finished it off with some freshly grated Parmesan.

Soooo good!! Seriously, I am patting myself on the back for this one.

Bon App├ętit y'all!

(ADDITION: already good suggestions!! A shopping list was requested for this. Here goes..)

Ingredients List:
1 can artichoke hearts in water
1 rotisserie chicken
1 large can of crushed tomatoes with basil
8 dried porcini mushrooms soaked in hot water
1 bottle red wine
2 carrots
1 white onion
5 cloves of garlic
1 bunch rosemary, sage and thyme
2 teaspoons bouillon
1 tablespoon olive oil
1-2 tablespoons grated parmesan
salt and pepper to taste

crock pot or dutch oven
wine opener
chef knife
patient roommate


Paula Rose said...

I can't wait to see what you'll make next for Artichoke week!

Jen said...

smells divine, do you deliver?
you mean I should make it for myself?

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