Though we don’t really have seasons in Southern California, we tend to pretend to. At least I do. When I go to the farmer’s market and see pumpkins, persimmons, parsnips, and apples it just brings the essence of the fall season to my kitchen, even though I’m wearing a t-shirt and flip flops. Yes, I know, we are spoiled out here. But we still love a hot bowl of chicken stew.
For those who feel the chill of fall (or don’t), this chicken stew will warm you right up. A good stew is so comforting on those days you just don’t feel like doing anything other than read or watch TV. The different vegetables in the stew bring multi-layers of flavors and textures to the dish, along with chicken that falls of the bone. I put a little Moroccan twist on it in terms of spices with the cinnamon and cloves. I find these spices bring out the best in these seasonal vegetables. The persimmon and apple pull it all together.
I don’t really cook much with potato, well until Hanukah, then it’s potato time. Most of the year we are potato free, yet I do find parsnips have a hearty flavor to them, similar to potatoes.
I made a double batch here so that I can freeze half for another time. A one pot savory fall harvest meal to warm the belly…enjoy!
Note: Stew always tastes better days later. Make this stew 2 days before serving to allow all the flavors to marry.
4 pounds organic chicken, breast bone-in and drumsticks
2 medium onions, diced
4 stalks celery, thinly sliced
8 carrots, peeled, sliced diagonally
1/4 cup garlic cloves, peeled
2 bunches parsnips, peeled, sliced diagonally
2 yellow crookneck squash, chopped
1 medium butternut squash, diced
1 apple, with skin, chopped (I used Pink Lady variety)
3 persimmon, chopped (Fuyu variety, the small firm ones)
2 cinnamon sticks
3 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons crushed black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh or dried thyme, stems removed
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground cloves
4 rosemary stems wrapped in a piece of cheesecloth
3-4 tablespoons grape seed oil
6-8 cups chicken stock
Season the chicken evenly with kosher salt and pepper.
In a large dutch oven pot (I used two) like a La Crueset, heat oil on medium high heat, add chicken and sear in two batches to avoid overcrowding. Sear 5 minutes on each side, turning the chicken every 2 minutes for even browning.
When all the chicken has been browned transfer to a bowl, set aside. Do not remove all the brown bits that look burned, they add flavor to the next phase.
Lower the heat to medium. Add onions, cumin, cinnamon, thyme, paprika, cloves, stir to mix well. Then add carrots, celery, garlic, cinnamon sticks, and rosemary wrapped in cheesecloth, stir and let cook for a 3-5 minutes. Bring all the browning bits on the bottom of the pot up for even cooking of all the vegetables.
Add butternut squash, combine well, cook for 2-3 minutes then add the yellow squash, combine well and cook another 3-5 minutes, once again lifting up the browning vegetables on the bottom and moving the vegetables on top to the bottom.
Add chicken stock, sometimes I only need 6 cups, yet other times I need 8 cups, it depends on the volume of the vegetables. You should have an inch or two of room from the top of the pot. Add apple and persimmon.
Cover, and reduce heat to medium low. Let it simmer for 2 1/2 hours, or until the liquid has reduced to half. Remove the cheesecloth with rosemary, and cinnamon sticks before serving.
Serve hot. The next day or two will develop the flavors even more. I recommend serving the next day. Just bring back to a low boil for a few minutes, then serve.
Don't miss a recipe! Subscribe here.