Daylight savings, nearly a month ago now (where did the time go?), marked the end of late evenings, cooking dinner by the light of the kitchen window. The sun is gone by 5:00 p.m., forcing me to turn on glaring overhead lights earlier, sometimes before I’ve even stood up from my computer and finished work for the day. Dinner-hour darkness and cold, windy nights have me dreaming of warm dishes cooked in my oven and over the stove. I thought this hearty cream stew was the perfect way to warm up on a cold evening.
Start by searing an entire chicken, skin mostly removed – at least the bigger pieces) in a skillet in a few tablespoons of olive oil. I left this in for only two minutes per side, just enough to get a bit of color.
Place the chicken in a large stockpot. Add an onion, a bag of carrots, some parsley and thyme leaves and water until the chicken is covered up and, more than likely, bobbing just a little bit. Put it on the stove and heat it all up.
After 40 or so minutes the chicken should be cooked and ready to peel off the bone. Remove the entire chicken to a cutting board and using forks, a knife or a pair of tongs, remove the meat. Dice slightly.
Add the chicken back to the broth.
Dice a good deal of red potatoes or Yukon Gold potatoes (variety is important for texture here), and add it to the mix. Then go enjoy doing something else for a bit. I drove my daughter to basketball. You can do whatever you need to, especially if there are a lack of basketball practices you need to be driving to.
After your soup has been simmering away to get your potatoes nice and soft, but not too soft, heat 2 more tablespoons of oil in a skillet. Add some celery and mushrooms and a cup of wine. Cook them for ten minutes until…
…they start to get soft and the mushrooms sweat. Add some diced garlic right at the end and let it cook just 30 seconds more before tossing it into the soup.
In that same pan, melt 4 tablespoons of butter and add 4 tablespoons of flour to it. Stir, stir, stir for about a minute or two.
Then whisk it right into the soup.
Hmm. It’s missing something. Maybe…perhaps some cream. Go ahead, pour it in.
Not only was this delicious the first night, but it went on to be a delightful lunch and reheated perfectly. So, although a whole chicken may produce quite a bit of soup, go for it. Freeze some, refrigerate some for lunch, and eat some right out of the pot.