One of my best friends is taking 6 months out of her Vancouver life to ride her bike to Mexico with her boyfriend. They are still enroute, but after weeks of cycling in the rain and wind and cold, they certainly appreciate a home-cooked meal and basic shelter. Central heating wouldn’t be amiss, either. What’s all this got to do with food? This may not be a vegan post (Kristen & her boyfriend are vegans), but it is a post that features some truely comforting food. And I’m sure something hot and home-cooked would go down nicely while riding down a cold, wet highway.
Comfort food ain’t pretty, but pleasing the belly is sometimes more important than pleasing the eye and this stew fits the bill perfectly. It’s nothing fancy. The flavours are simple, the directions are straight forward and once you add the ingredients, the dish pretty much takes care of itself. Nice. This recipe is also pretty flexible. You can add different vegetables (some rutabaga would be great) and you can control the amount of gravy by the amount of liquid and flour you use. And if you want to pull out all the comfort stops, certainly some dumplings cooked in the pot during the last few minutes wouldn’t hurt a thing.
paprika chicken & vegetable stew
6 chicken thighs, skinned
2 T smoked hot paprika
1 T olive oil
4 medium potatoes, quartered
1 onion, quartered
2 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 c mushrooms
2 T flour
2 c chicken broth (+ more water or broth, if needed, to generously cover vegetables)
1 T dijon mustard
1 t dried sage
1/2 bottle of beer
1/2 c frozen peas
1. Sprinkle chicken on all sides with paprika, salt, and pepper. Heat oil in heavy large pot and add chicken. Saute until brown, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to plate. Add vegetables (except the peas….those come in later) and saute for a few minutes. Sprinkle vegetables with flour and stir to coat. Stir in broth and beer.
2. Return chicken and any juices to the pot. Add dijon mustard and sage. Stir to combine and reduce heat. Cover and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes. Add frozen peas during the last 10 minutes of cooking time. Serve with rice or crusty bread.