Spiced tomato, bean, and chicken Stew

I was craving some pollo en fricase (Fricassee chicken) from back home. I also wanted to do something different about it. I wanted to use some tomatoes that I had in my the house, so this beautiful chicken dish came out. It’s slightly spicy, tangy, and warm. There are two different ingredients that may seem weird, but it’s addition actually makes sense. If you do not have both of these, the dish is lacking. Think about it as when they say “nutmeg adds that special something something”.

If you want to go truly “extra” you can cook some lemons to add another complex flavor, use some preserved lemons or just add at the end.

Ingredients for the stew:

  • 4 chicken hindquarters or 6 chicken things
  • Kosher Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons of sofrito
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 6-8 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons of honey (I used lightly colored honey)
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • 3/4 teaspoons of ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 15 ounce can of tomatoes (I used whole peeled San Marzano’s)
  • 2-3 cups of chicken broth; I always use low-sodium
  • 2 cans of white beans ( garbanzo, white northern, etc); drained.
  • Olive Oil

How to:

  • Pat the chicken dry and season with salt. Let it sit until you finish your mise en place or if you are a very organized person, cover and chill for up to a day.
  • Add some oil to the a heavy pot ( I used my big Le Creuset Dutch Oven) and preheat over medium high heat.
  • Season the chicken with some freshly ground pepper, add the chicken (in batches) to the pot and cook until skin is crispy. This will take up to 12 minutes.
  • When the chicken is done, place it on a plate leaving the chicken-y bits behind.
  • Add the onions and cook until they begin to soften (5-8 mins). Add garlic (if you do it with the onions, they will burn). Cool the onion garlic mix for up to 3 mins.
  • Add the honey, tomato paste, cinnamon, and red pepper flakes. Stir and leave to cook out for 1 min.
  • Add the tomato, chicken and chicken juices to the pot. If you are using whole tomatoes smash the tomatoes until they are in small bite size pieces.
  • Add the broth and beans to the pot. The mix should just start to cover the chicken. Bring to a simmer, then low. Close the pot slightly ajar and cook until the chicken is beginning to fall apart from the bone. This will take up to 70 mins (depending on your stove, it can be 80)
  • Serve immediately with some rice, tortillas, naan, crusty bread or a combination. Top with some freshly squeezed lemons , more red pepper flakes, and fresh herbs. Herbs that you can use: Mint, Cilantro, or for me parsley.

Want to add some greens? At the 60 mins mark, add some greens. Mustard greens or kale. The idea would be that the greens need to stand out and be heartier. If you look at something like spinach, you need to add it in the last 4-5 mins of cooking.

If you want to make it vegetarian, use veggie broth and just cook with beans until tender sans chicken.

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