Kennedy Stewed Chicken


When I first moved into this apartment, there was an old lady who lived on the first floor and was moving out. I helped her move by packing the things she wanted and taking the stuff she didn't to the basement. She let me take my pick of whatever she was throwing out, and that's how I got a huge amount of the furniture in my current apartment. It's also how I got a lot of things that I have no idea what I'm going to do with. She was a kindly grandmotherly sort, and could be quite insistent when she gave me things. Hence the various herbal bath supplements in my closet, the big box of transparencies in my drawer, and the huge bottle of fish oil tablets in my refrigerator.

She also gave me about five pounds of frozen chicken parts. I'm not really in the habit of buying meat; I haven't bought any since I moved to New York. But here I was with a huge pile of it filling my freezer. I had hoped my roommate might use it, and I offered it to him on several occasions. No dice. The roommate, apparently, doesn't cook. Ever. I don't think he's even turned used our microwave or our toaster, let alone turned on the stove. I'm kind of curious how he can eat out every meal on a student loan budget, but I suppose we all prioritize our purchases differently. In any case, nine months after moving in, the chicken was still there, adversely possessing my freezer. If I didn't do something soon, the chicken would gain legal title to the contents of my freezer, including, but not limited to, a smattering of frozen bean burritos, a sack of brussels sprouts, and a loaf of Godless Communist brown rice bread. Moreover, I have a very strong moral compulsion against waisting food. Throwing out rotten mushrooms brings a tear to my eye; surely they're not THAT bad! It's already a fungus, so a little extra mold on it isn't the end of the world, right?

In any case, in re: the chicken, something had to be done.

I was watching The Two Towers Friday night. Half-way through is a scene in which Gollum brings Sam and Frodo a pair of dead rabbits, and Sam cooks it into a stew whilst complaining of the lack of potatoes. "Mmmm," thought I, "Potatoes." "Wait!" I added "I've got potatoes! And carrots! And celery and onions and other stewable vegetables! Plus there's that chicken in the freezer!" and so that idea was hatched: Chicken Stew. I would use the chicken bones to make stock and the chicken meat to make stew.

And that's pretty much how I spent my weekend; making stock on Saturday and making stew today. I was reminded of why I don't buy meat; I really, really hate working with it raw. Anyhow, here are some pictures:



One piece of advice: if you're going to make soup/stew/whatever, for Pete's sake make your own stock. I know it takes a long time, but canned stock is quite possibly the worst thing ever. Even just boiling a few carrots, onions, and celery stalks in salted water for a couple of hours produces a better stock (and less salty) than you'll get from a can.

The stew itself was tasty. I threw in whatever I could think of, so there are potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips, a couple of peppers, garlic, mushrooms, peas, and okra. Plus the chicken. I also make some biscuits over top of which to spoon the stew, and those were warm and tasty, too. All in all, a weekend well spent. Plus I've got left-over stock to make cabbage soup tomorrow.


How did you get your biscuits so nice? Mine always turn into flat little hockey pucks. Delicious hockey pucks, yes, but flat nonetheless.

Well, I used a lot of baking powder; 4 tablespoons powder + 1 tablespoon baking soda to 2 cups of flour. That might explain the puffiness. I also took a very casual attitude towards making sure the dough was level before cutting out my biscuits; I tried to make them mostly flatish, but there was a lot of unevenness even within each biscuit, so that might contribute to the lopsidedness of them.

Oh, also, I used my food processor with a dough hook to mix the various ingredients for the dough. I'm quite excited about this; it ends up getting things mixed together very easily, whereas in the past making any kind of dough has been a big sticky ordeal. I'm toying with the idea of making bagels tonight; we'll see what comes of that.

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This page contains a single entry by Zach published on April 9, 2006 11:08 PM.

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