I was stuck inside a conference room all day today with no windows. In a way, it would have been nice to look at the partially blue sky. When I finally left the building, I decided not to put my jacket on because, after all, it is June. That was a mistake – even with as nice as it was outside – it was still freezing. Ok, so maybe not literally freezing, but certainly not a week away from summer weather. Yes, in the Pacific Northwest, we call this Junuary. The most dreaded month of the year. The month when you finally start wigging out because of the weather. At least in my family.
We moved here from Denver, one of the sunniest places in the US, and the first year we were here, I thought my husband was going to pack his bags and run back. We have lasted 15 years, and I have no intention of ever leaving (except to go live in France that is…) – but every year June starts to wear me down. What gets me through it? Cooking. At least when it is cool out, I still feel like cooking in the kitchen, and turning on the oven. After all, we don’t have air conditioning when it does actually get warm out.
I saw this recipe in Bon Appetit, and even though it is technically not stew weather – it is here. I really had no intention of posting this one, but it was my family that convinced me. They loved it – all of them, especially the girls. They even ate the cooked carrots, which is virtually impossible to get them to do. The flavor of this stew was wonderful, and it really wasn’t too rich – even with the heavy cream. It was a perfect meal to serve in Junuary. For your sake, I hope you are firing up your BBQ – but if you get the urge to cook inside, or if you happen to live somewhere like me – here is a recipe that will make you smile.
- 2 cups 1/4-inch-thick rounds peeled carrots (about 3 medium-large)
- 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only; about 2 medium)
- 1 1/4 pounds skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into 2-inch cubes
- Sea salt
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- Fresh thyme sprigs (for garnish)
Cook carrots in large saucepan of boiling salted water 3 minutes. Add leeks to pan with carrots and cook until carrots are tender, about 3 minutes longer. Drain; set aside.
Sprinkle chicken with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Whisk flour, thyme, and paprika in medium bowl. Toss chicken in flour mixture. Heat oil in heavy large nonstick skillet over medium- high heat. Add chicken to skillet and cook until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Add wine; boil until reduced by half, 2 to 3 minutes. Scatter carrots and leeks over chicken. Add broth, cover, and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Add cream and mustard. Stir until sauce thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Season sauce to taste with sea salt and pepper. Transfer to large shallow bowl. Scatter parsley over and garnish with thyme sprigs.
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