January 20, 2011

Dijon Chicken Stew with Kale and Potatoes

Out of all the recipes to choose for my cookbook project, I am really not sure why this one caught my attention. When I was outlining which dishes I wanted to try out of the Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2007 book, I kept flipping back to this one. I was really trying to find new things that I hadn't experienced before, so I kept gravitating towards this dish. I just couldn't imagine how the flavors would come together in a stew. I knew I had to try it and see.

Dijon Chicken Stew with Kale and Potatoes
From: Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2007 cookbook (Jeanne Kelley, Cooking Light, JANUARY 2006)

4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
2 cups sliced leek
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 ounces)
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 cup dry white wine
3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth, divided
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 cups(1/2-inch) cubed peeled white potato (about 1 pound)
8 cups loosely packed torn kale (about 5 ounces)
Crushed red pepper

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add leek; sauté 6 minutes or until tender and golden brown. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Spoon leek mixture into a large bowl.

Place 1/3 cup flour in a shallow bowl or pie plate. Dredge chicken in flour, shaking off excess. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add half of chicken mixture; sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Cook 6 minutes, browning on all sides. Add browned chicken to leek mixture. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken mixture, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper.

Add wine to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Combine 1 cup broth and 1 tablespoon flour, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Add broth mixture, remaining 2 cups broth, water, and mustard to pan; bring to a boil. Stir in chicken mixture, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes.

Stir in potato. Cover and simmer 30 minutes or until potato is tender. Stir in kale; cover and simmer 10 minutes. Garnish with crushed red pepper flakes.

The Result:
Our stew was savory and delicious, with very grown-up flavors. My husband and I really loved this recipe, but it was soooo labor-intensive. It took me over two hours from start to finish; and that is just too darn long for a weeknight meal. We ended up feeding the kids and putting them to bed before we sat down to eat.

The stew itself was rustic, hearty, and comforting as you would come to expect; but it also tasted very polished at the same time. There was a fairly complex layering of flavor going on...I guess that is why it took so long to cook. It truly was unique, which is what I was going for in the first place.

Overall, I am certainly glad I decided to go for it. This was a really great one pot recipe that would be something I make again, as long as it is on a day when I have the time to dedicate toward it (i.e. not a busy weeknight).

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