I wish I could tell you about the most awesome meal I made this past weekend. Or about the fantastic supper I had last night. But I can’t. I’m in the middle of what I like to call the “craft fair crazies” and for the past 2 weeks and for another week more I’m up to my ears in prepping and selling and smiling like a mad woman. For a person who works from home and doesn’t really get a whole lot of public face-to-face time, working the craft show circuit is a bit of a stressful time. Not that I’m not loving it, because I am meeting so many people who read this blog and try my recipes and tell me how they gave their friend a card that I made and it made their day. Wow, it’s an amazing amazing thing. But there’s not a lot of cooking going on. Take out? Oh yes! More than once, even. Cold cereal for dinner? Often. So instead of feeling sorry for myself, I’m going to look back on a meal that was a total standout but for one reason or another never made it to this blog. Next week I’ll be back to normal and I’m sure to be cooking something seasonal and delicious. By normal I mean I’ll whip myself into a baking & candy-making frenzy since I love giving out homemade treats for Christmas. So stay tuned, but in the meantime, I give you this…
Oh, that stew that stands before you was such a glorious dish. And it was easy, once all the vegetables were chopped up and the chicken thighs (which are buried underneath) were dredged and browned. But I think that’s not why I loved this meal so much. I made this way back in August the night my husband was to return home from his 2 week bicycle adventure up in the East Kooteney’s (that’s in beautiful British Columbia for those not in the know). I missed him terribly and I wanted him to come home to a really good homemade meal. I had a ton of vegetables from our abundant CSA, some thyme from our garden, along with some chicken thighs and farmer’s sausage. A stew brimming with local flavour seemed perfect and homey. It’s the kind of meal made from the heart. No exact measurements required. Just go with your guts and you’ll be fine.
Chunks of summer squash, baby eggplant, onion, mushrooms, purple potatoes, red-skinned potatoes, carrots and tomatoes mingled with a good glug of riesling for a perfect summer supper. It’s simplicity and it was the perfect welcome home meal made with lots of love. Honestly I don’t know why I didn’t post this recipe until now, but I’m glad I’m mentioning it now. While I took a summer approach to this meal back in August, I think it would do nicely for the fall and winter. Root vegetables and red wine would create a hearty and winter warming dish.
And if you’ll be in Vancouver, please stop by the new Vancouver Convention Centre from Thursday to Sunday this week for the One of a Kind Show & Sale. I’ll be there with my Hob Snobs pals selling up a storm (or so we hope!). I’d love for you to stop by!
chicken, sausage and vegetable stew
4 chicken thighs, skin removed
1/2 c flour
salt & pepper
1 t garlic powder
1 t dried basil
1 t dried oregano
2 T olive oil
5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 large red onion, cut into a large dice
1 T olive oil (if needed)
an assortment of your favorite in-season vegetables, chopped (enough for a good deep layer in your stock pot 3-4″ thick, or more)
1 6″ piece of cooked farmer’s sausage, sliced into chunks
1/2 t dried red chilis, crushed
a few springs of fresh thyme
salt & pepper to taste
1 c wine (white or red)
Preheat oven to 400F. Add flour and spices along with pepper and a sprinkle of salt and toss with a fork on a large plate. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour, shaking off any excess and set aside. Heat olive oil over med-high heat in a large heavy stock pot. When oil is hot, add chicken and brown on both sides, 5 minutes per side. Remove chicken.
Pour a tablespoon of olive oil if needed and add in garlic and onion and saute until soft, fragrant and just starting to caramelize. Put the chicken back into the pot and top off with the vegetables, sausage and pour in the wine. Season with a touch of salt and a good grind of pepper, chilis and add in thyme.
Place the lid on your pot and pop into the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Halfway through the cooking, check to see if more liquid is needed – if so, add a bit more wine or stock or water and give things a bit of a stir. Remove the lid for the last remaining 15 minutes to help evaporate and thicken up the liquid. Serve in deep bowls with crusty bread.