Sunday, March 4, 2012

Cooking with Less: Chicken & Sausage Stew

    I'm big on leftovers. I hardly ever buy my lunch at work. Neither does My Director. So most Sundays I like to cook a meal that'll cover at least two dinners in addition to a lunch or two. If Peanut likes it enough to ask for it for lunch, bonus. Weekends give me time to cook dinners that take longer to make than I have time for during the week. So I like to make them last.
    This recipe was delicious and lasted all week. My Director and I finished it just last night. (I didn't have time to cook because we spent the day packing for Disney.) Peanut ate some other leftovers. (I'm also big on not wasting food.)
Another successful meal inspired by
Cooking Light
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
    2 tablespoons olive oil 
    2 cups chopped onion
    1 cup chopped green bell pepper 
    1 cup chopped red bell pepper
    1 cup chopped celery 
    4 ounces diced chicken sausage (I used a yummy apple sausage - more flavor)
    4 garlic cloves, minced 
    1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
    12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces 
    1 1/2 marinara sauce 
    1 1/2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth 
    1/2 cup chopped green onions
    3 cups hot cooked brown rice 

    1. Chop all of your veggies and proteins first. But be warned: this recipe makes mess. I like to put things in separate bowls after I've chopped them. My kitchen looked like a bomb went off at point.
    2. Start your rice while you're chopping. 
    3. Heat flour and oil in a Dutch oven over medium-low heat; cook for 5 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently with a whisk. It's gonna look weird and unappetizing. Don't worry.
    3. Add onion, bell pepper, celery, sausage, and garlic. I used an apple-chicken sausage to make it more tasty. I also took it out of the casing and crumbled it. That's just how I roll sometimes.
    4. Increase heat to medium-high, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring mixture frequently. Add ground red pepper and chicken; cook for 1 minute. Nothing will look cooked yet, because it isn't. This is very disconcerting. Just go with it.
    5. Stir in marinara sauce and chicken broth. The original recipe calls for jarred marinara sauce. If I used jarred marinara sauce, it would make my ancestors cry. Hell, it would make my mom cry. I would never cook or serve anything that called for jarred marinara sauce. I wouldn't buy jarred marinara sauce. It is an insult to my heritage. But if you don't make your own (like I do) and have some ready in reserve (like I usually do), just don't tell me if you used jarred. It'll make ME cry.
    6. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until chicken is tender (cooked). Remove from heat; stir in green onions. Serve over rice.
    Make it Peanut-friendly:
    1. Peanut loved this. Except for the green pepper and scallions. She eats red peppers though. Go figure. So that's a compromise I was ready for.
    2. This is a total bread meal. Excellent for dunking. Peanut loves to dunk the bread. That's Italian too.
3. My finished product didn't look like the picture because I stirred the rice into the stew to give it more texture. (And for easy leftovers.) Also, I chop my peppers smaller.

4. This recipe makes at least 8-10 servings. You can freeze this too. 

For further explanation as to why jarred marinara sauce makes me stabby, click here.


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