Sunday, October 7, 2012

Chicken & Sausage Stew

Now that the weather is turning colder, I've been wanting to make good stick-to-your-bones food.  The kind that fills you up with good flavor and nutrition, and warms you from the inside.

As I was browsing on Pinterest, I came across this recipe for Hunger Games Hob Stew:

I will admit, I'm behind the times and have neither read the book nor watched the movie.  But my oldest daughter has done both.  She was really keen to try the recipe that was inspired by the movie, so it's what's for dinner tonight.

Here are my ingredients.  One change that I made right from the start was to not use quite so much broth.  The original recipe calls for 12 cups of chicken broth... that's three quarts!  I used only two quarts (8 cups) and that seemed to be sufficient.  Also, I would have run out of room in my pot had I used all 12 cups!

I poured my broth into my Dutch Oven and brought it to a boil.  Once the broth was boiling, I added the Italian sausages.

And then the veggies, which have been chopped, are added.  The recipe called for two green bell peppers, however green bell peppers are not a favorite in this house.  I used one red bell pepper instead.  Now I let that cook for about 30 minutes, or until the sausages are cooked through.  When the sausages are cooked, I removed them from the pot and added the package of beans. Return to a simmer and let cook for 2 hours, or until the beans are tender.

Now that the beans are in the pot, I transfered the sausages to a pan to brown them up a bit.  Once they're browned, I removed the sausages to cool a bit and cooked my chicken breasts.  Of course, you can use leftover chicken if you have some to use up.

Once the sausages and chicken breasts are cooled, I cut them into bite sized pieces.  I left the sausages in round pieces, I liked the shape.  Place the cut sausages and chicken in a bowl and refrigerate until later.

After 2 hours of simmering, the beans should be nice and soft, so I added the cooked chicken and sausage to the Dutch Oven.  At this point, I added half a cup of water to get the consistency that I wanted; the stew had cooked down a bit more than I had wanted.  Let this simmer for 15-20 more minutes, or until warmed through.

Yum!  This is so tasty and hearty, and healthy too.  And best of all, my daughters ate it up.  Sweet!

However, I would make a couple of additional changes to the recipe.  As written, this recipe makes a LOT of food!  Next time I think I'll halve the recipe and it will still make plenty for dinner and leave leftovers for the next day's lunch.  Maybe even a few lunches!  :)

Also, I would not put the carrots in at the beginning of the cooking process.  They end up being cooked for 3 hours, and by the time I served up dinner the carrots were mush.  Next time, I will wait to add the carrots until later, 30-45 minutes before serving.  Either that, or I'll soak the beans before cooking so the dish won't have to cook for so long.

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