Ginger Chicken Stew

ginger chix stew copy.jpg

Complement this soup with something fresh.  I prefer a bowl of steamed bok choy or Napa cabbage and a simple salad – sliced or julienned cucumbers and radishes tossed with rice wine vinegar and a sprinkle of sugar. 

 Serves 6 to 8

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 2 pounds)

1 tablespoon curry powder

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 red onion, thinly sliced

2 Thai chile peppers, thinly sliced

2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds

1 (4-inch) piece ginger, peeled and julienned

2 garlic cloves, smashed and thinly sliced

1 cup dry white wine

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

4 wide strips zest and juice of 1 orange

1 bunch fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1 teaspoon tamari or low-sodium soy sauce

Lime wedges

 1. Rinse the chicken, pat dry and season all over with the curry powder, salt and black pepper and set aside.

2. Place the sugar in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat and cook, undisturbed, until the edges turn amber and start to bubble, about 3 minutes. Once the edges start to brown, stir the sugar until it dissolves and begins to caramelize. Carefully add 1 cup of water and stir until the caramel dissolves. Remove from the pan and set aside.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat in the same pan until sizzling hot. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the chiles, red pepper flakes, coriander seeds, mustard seeds and ginger and cook, stirring constantly, until the seeds begin to pop and become aromatic, about 1 minute. Remove from the pan and set aside.

4. Add the remaining olive oil to the pan and heat until sizzling hot. Add the chicken and cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, about 1 minute more.

5. Add the wine, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan, and reduce the heat to low. Add the onion, spices and caramel water back to the pan with the chicken. Add the broth, orange strips and juice, half the cilantro (including stems), vinegar and soy sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until the chicken is tender and cooked through, about 20 minutes.

6. Remove the pot from the heat, chop the remaining cilantro leaves and garnish the stew just before serving. Serve warm with lime wedges to squeeze into the soup.


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