Tomorrow I’ll pick up our biweekly CSA share of winter vegetables. While I love eating local, seasonal produce, there are days when I don’t know how I’ll face another parsnip or rutabaga or cabbage. There have been a few odds and ends hanging around the bottom of the fridge since the last pickup before Christmas, so tonight was a good opportunity to use up the stragglers before the fresh ones arrive.
It was the first time I’d made this recipe, which was sent out last winter by the CSA farmers, who also happen to be gourmet cooks. It was fragrant and delicious, with just enough chicken to please the hubby. (It could easily be made vegetarian, though, since the stew doesn’t depend on the meat at all to develop flavour.) The kids loved it, especially the couscous cooked with chickpeas that served as a bed for the stew.
Moroccan-style Chicken & Root Vegetable Stew
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut in 1-inch strips
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp cumin
1 cinnamon stick
2 cups 1/2-inch pieces squash or sweet potato
2 cups 1/2-inch pieces peeled parsnips
1 large carrot, cut in 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup 1/2-inch pieces peeled rutabaga
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup dried currants or raisins
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes, drained
Juice and zest from 1 lemon
Chopped fresh cilantro
Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add to pot and sauté until light golden but not cooked through. Transfer chicken to bowl.
Add onion to pot and sauté until golden, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and stir 1 minute. Add curry powder, cumin, and cinnamon stick, and stir 30 seconds. Add squash, parsnips, carrot, rutabaga, broth, and currants. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.
Add tomatoes, lemon zest and juice, and chicken. Simmer until chicken is cooked through and flavours blend, about 5 minutes longer. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve over couscous cooked with chickpeas.
Makes enough for 4 hearty appetites + leftovers for everyone’s lunch