I must admit that I am taken aback with how cold it has been in Perth the past few weeks. It gets extremely hot in the summer months and coming from Mumbai where we only really experience 2 seasons – summer and Monsoon, this cold Perth weather has taken everyone by surprise.
It is a struggle to wake up in the morning and drag yourself away from the comfort of the warm bed. I roam around in the darkness of the chilly house almost in trance trying to get my bearings until I have had the first cup of tea and let it warm my insides.
However the days when it gets extremely cold I find that getting up is even more difficult, so I splash my face with icy cold water to wake myself up. Evenings get even gloomier as the sun sets by 5 pm and then the world outside is covered in a blanket of darkness with the moon coming out and shining brightly giving the cold night an eerie feeling.
Since I have to travel a considerable distance for work by the time I come back from work it is already dark and that makes me feel lazy and I am usually not in the mood to make elaborate dinners. So I usually stick to cooking one pot meals where I can put everything in a single pan and just forget about it and go and hide in my room under the warmth of my bed till the heady aromas of whatever I have on the gas drag me out.
And stews are such wintery comfort meals in themselves. I love making Chicken stews a lot and this delicious “Chicken and Mushroom stew” is a one pot heartening wonder meal. I have resorted to making this when I have nothing else to cook or when I am feeling terribly lazy on a cold winter evening. It has a soupy consistency which means I don’t need to make Rice or Roti and can just mop up the juices with a warm crusty bread.
And ofcourse the generous quantity of Wine that goes in the stew helps a lot to make you forget your blues.
Here is the recipe: (Cooking time 40 minutes, serves 4 big portions)
8 Chicken thighs (skin removed)
½ cup Plain flour
1 Coffee cup Chicken Stock
½ Cup good Quality White Wine
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 Cup Button Mushrooms cleaned and chopped into thin slices
1 Cup Leek Chopped (you can substitute Leeks with White Onions if you can’t find it)
4 -5 medium sized Carrots cut into round pieces
Small bunch of Parsley
Good Quality Olive Oil
1) Heat around a tbsp of Olive oil in a big pan in which you want to cook the Chicken.
2) Sprinkle Salt and Pepper to the Flour and mix well. Rub the cleaned and dried Chicken thighs in the flour and lightly fry them in the olive oil till lightly Golden in color.
3) Drain the Chicken thighs on a kitchen towel to remove any excess oil and keep them aside.
4) In the same pan add a little more Olive Oil and add the Chopped leek and cook for 5 minutes on a medium flame.
5) Now add the Chopped Mushrooms and Carrots, cover the lid and let them cook for 5 minutes again on a medium flame.
6) Put the Chicken pieces directly over the vegetables, adding the Wine and the Chicken stock and letting it come to its first boil. Add the chopped Parsley and some more Salt depending on your tastes and some Pepper, cover and let it cook for 20 – 25 minutes on a medium head till the Chicken and Vegetables are cooked.
7) Serve hot with some warm crusty bread.