I love stews. It's comforting and nourishing, and can be switched up a million ways. No stew I've ever made is the same, simply because I throw in whatever I feel like that very day.
I had a bunch of garlic getting close to its use-by date, and fresh rosemary that had been sitting in the freezer since forever, so I thought I'd marry them in a stew. Because there's such a myriad of flavours derived naturally, there's hardly a use for salt.
Ingredients (feeds 6 pax):
6-8 chicken thighs (apportion 1 thigh per person, +2 to accommodate big eaters)
10 cloves garlic, left whole
10 cloves garlic, minced
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 leek, white portion only, minced
2 large carrots, diced to 1-cm cubes
500 grms white button mushrooms, sliced
1 cup dry white wine
5 cups chicken stock
1 cup unseeded olives, a rainbow mix of red, purple, and green
10 sprigs fresh rosemary, tied together with butcher's twine
1 cup orzo
2 tbsp olive oil
1) Brown chicken, salting liberally, in olive oil, working in batches and taking care not to overcrowd the browning pan. Set aside in a big stewing pot.
2) With 3 tbsp of the chicken fat, brown whole garlic cloves, about 10 minutes on low-medium heat, remove and set aside.
3) Add another 1 tbsp chicken fat, fry onions till softened, 2 minutes on medium-high heat.
4) Add garlic, leek, about 1 minute.
5) Add carrots, fry 1 minute.
6) Add mushrooms, fry till water rendered.
7) Add wine, and reduce to minimum, before adding stock.
9) Transfer the mixture to the chicken in the big pot, and add rosemary, olives, and stew for 40 minutes or until tender.
10) In the last 10 minutes before serving, add orzo. Add 1 cup water if necessary. Salt to taste before serving.