Monday, January 25, 2010

What Did You Do With Your Sunday Afternoon? Experimenting in the Kitchen.

     I love to cook on Sunday afternoons. For me, putting on comfy sweatpants, turning the music up loud with a great beat and several things “brewing” in the kitchen, make for a blissful day. I not only enjoy it while I’m doing it, I really love it during the week when I have a meal or two ready ahead of time.

     Yesterday was one of those Sundays. Sometimes I plan ahead. I have a recipe or two and all of the ingredients ready to go. There are also days like yesterday. I had on my gray sweatpants and an old EIU sweatshirt. I certainly didn’t want to get out and go to the grocery store. I’m also trying to eat healthy these days, so making a white sauce, throwing in anything I can find and covering it with cheese…not an option. I shopped my freezer and cabinets to come up with an experiment that worked, a second meal for today and a light dessert to snack on all week. I will share all three recipes this week. Today you get the recipe for the experiment we had for dinner last night, Chicken Chili-Stew.

     I had a 3 lb. bag of boneless chicken breasts in the freezer and I opted to cook the entire bag. I only added salt, pepper and enough water to cover the chicken. Bring the pot to a boil, turn down to simmer and let the chicken cook until tender. I removed the chicken from the broth (which I saved for a few meals for one very spoiled beagle). I separated the cooked chicken, 2/3 for the chili and 1/3 reserved for my second recipe that I will share later this week.

Chicken Chili-Stew

Serves 4-6

2 lbs. cooked chicken (see above) cut into pieces.
1 T. olive oil
1 green pepper chopped (or any color pepper)
4 or 5 stalks of celery, chopped (I like to use the leaves, they add flavor)
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 T. chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes (I used fire-roasted)
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
16 oz. can garbanzo beans (rinsed and drained)
1 cup water
2 T. sugar (optional)

In a large pan, sauté the green pepper and celery in the olive oil until very tender, not brown. Add the remaining ingredients, except the sugar, and simmer over med-low heat. I simmered it about 2 hours, stirring occasionally. We like our chili a little sweet. I sampled the chili about 30 minutes before serving and decided to add the 2 T. of sugar. I suggest that you taste before adding, you may like it better without the sweet.

     This was a surprisingly good, hearty meal with very little fat. The garbanzo beans (which I used because I didn’t have any other canned beans in the house) really added a nice texture to the chili. I think you could put the chicken raw with the other ingredients into a crock pot and make this, avoiding the step of pre-cooking the chicken, but since I haven’t tried it that way…you do that at your own risk!

     I garnished with a spoonful of light sour cream and served cornbread for my husband. If you aren’t watching the calories…shredded cheese on top would also be delicious. Enjoy!


meredith said...

mmmm, looks warm and yummy!!!!

Jenglamgirl said...

holly yum, cozy and delish!

Tammy@InStitches said...

Yum, that looks good !

Shellbelle said...

This is my favorite way to cook, I call it dumping — shop the cupboards and fridge and dump in whatever sounds good and honey, this sounds good! I love garbanzo beans and use them a lot. Last week I went to the flea market and they had fresh ones. I haven't seen fresh since I lived in California.

Sounds like you had a nice Sunday. Me? I'm on deadline and worked long hours all weekend. Sure could have used a bowl of chili/stew!

I'm having a giveaway (CSN), so stop by when you get a moment.

Patty Benedict said...

Sue...your my kind of gal!!! I LOVE cooking on Sundays. I make just about the same soup but I use leftover pork roast and add green enchilada beans Hubby doesn't like beans unless they are BBQ beans.
Thank you for post all the fun goodies!!! Bugs & hisses

Jenny said...

Looks yummy. And I love those fire roasted tomatoes. I've found a fire roasted brand here called chipotle fire-roasted. They are amazing.

Debbie said...

Looks delicious!! Do you think this would freeze good? I like to make soups and freeze some.. :)

Sue (Someone's Mom) said...

Debbie-I think this would freeze beautifully.

Thanks for all the comments.

Blondie's Journal said...

I can tell by looking at the ingredients that this is delicious. The pictures help!! Great job. I will have to make this this week! Thanks!! :-)


Kathysue said...

Hi Sue, Just popping in to say Hi and thank you for coming to my blog and leaving a comment.I so appreciate you taking the time to do so. I made a chickent taco casserole tonight. After seeing this stew I think I should have tried this,YUM!

dee dee said...

Can't wait to try this, yummy! I think my kids will try this as well! Thanks for sharing all your great recipes... will look forward to the other two this week!
Dee Dee

Maria said...

Hi Sue!
Thanks for stopping over! I love my tulips :D
Thanks so much for the gentle nudging...
What a pick-me-up!
They're so pink and happy!

I'm going to forward your post to my son, Jason. He makes awesome chili! He learned how to make it last month and is probably ready for some variation.
Switching chicken for the ground turkey is an easy one!

Here's how I made the black & white/color photo:
I used Picasa...
after you open a picture
go to "effects" → focal B&W
Bring the green 'cross' to where you want color and then used the slide controls to intensify & size the color area.

Hope I explained that well!

*Have a sweet week, Sue*

xinex said...

Yummy! Thanks for the recipe, Sue. As for a cleaning lady, unfortunately I am it, lol. When I was in FL and left my hubby home, he said he hired a cleaning lady before I came home but I didn't notice at all cause I stayed up all night cleaning up after I arrived....Christine

susan said...

This reminds me a little bit of chicken jambalaya! Looks delicious! I cook for relaxation too--and comfy clothes and good music definitely make it even better! I agree on the "yuck" on the silk roses, If I had not seen one, I never would have done it! Thanks for stopping by!

Debbie said...

Thanks sue!! Cant wait to try it!!

Torie Jayne said...

That looks and sounds great! thanks, Have a sweet day!

Holly said...

Sounds delicious. I love garbanzo beans...would never have thought about putting them in there, but something new to try. Yum.

Lexie said...

i always loved sunday afternoons with my mom .. we'd come home from church and she'd put on her sweats too! i loved seeing her with her sweats but her hair still done up and make-up still on! sweet memories!

SophiesMark said...

This is very similar to pozole, in theory, and I love pozole. Only difference is tin the spices, we put chile ancho in ours and top the whole thing with diced (uncooked) onion, lettuce, oregano and lime.