maandag 25 november 2013

Chicken marsala stew

Okay, I know its been a while since I’ve posted. But I have plenty of good excuses. We bought a pug puppy, who is a gorgeous, google-eyed, bundle of fat, named ‘Doug’. Its been five weeks since we picked him up but it still feels like a hurricane has come crashed our home. Even though there are four of us taking care of him, we’re all shattered. Having raised two children already, I swear that was easier because at least babies can wear nappies. Doug hasn’t made the connection yet that you can’t just pee or poo whenever the urge takes you. He covertly finds many dark corners to ‘leave us gifts’. Its a good thing he’s so unbelievably cute and squishy because that makes up for a lot. My freelance work has also been crazy busy. A massive onslaught of food styling and recipe writing has left me with zero time to write posts. So nuf said!

This is one of my favorite stews from ‘Meals in heels’. Not only incredibly simple to make, it has bags of winter cosiness. Its sort of a riff on the classic veal marsala but there isn’t any pounding or unethical meat involved. Marsala is a fortified wine similar to sherry and Madeira, but much sweeter. Produced on a small island off the coast of Sicily, its raisin-like taste is brilliant with meats or stews. Boneless chicken thighs work better here than breasts. Their dark lovely meat stays juicy and tender while braising. Serve it with mashed potato or egg tagliatelle with butter for the perfect cold weather food.

chicken marsala stew
prep time 20 minutes cook time 40 minutes
serves 6

900 g (2 lb) skinless chicken thigh fillets, fat trimmed and halved
plain (all-purpose) flour, for dusting
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 large French shallots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary leaves
400 g (14 oz) chestnut or baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon tomato paste (concentrated purée)
250 ml (9 oz/1 cup) Marsala
400 ml (14 fl oz) beef stock
chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and dust with flour. Heat half the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook the chicken, in batches, for 1–2 minutes each side or until browned. Remove and set aside.

Add the remaining oil, shallot, garlic and rosemary to the pan, season with salt and pepper and cook for 5–6 minutes or until the shallot is softened. Add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes or until browned. Add the tomato paste, Marsala, stock and chicken, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes or until the chicken is tender. Scatter over lots of parsley to serve.

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