Chicken stew with whipping cream? Leave it to our friends to the north to create hearty stews. With the harsh weather they enjoy (or suffer), Canadian stew is a weekly comfort necessity.
Wait a minute. Chicken stew with whipping cream?
Leave it to our friends to the north to create hearty stews. With the harsh weather they enjoy (or suffer), Canadian stew is a weekly comfort necessity.
Jim Morris spent four days at the Vancouver Winter Olympics and sent me this chicken stew recipe. He begged it off a chef he met in a cafe downtown. Two Molsons later, he had it, plus bragging rights.
“This is the stuff that keeps you going on the slopes,” he reports.
I tried it and, yes, headed right out there and shoveled our drive for the zillionth time. The heavy cream at the end makes it.
Good stew has a depth of flavor. That means you can taste the meat, veggies and gravy. Lesser stew mushes all that together, as in canned stew or stew cooked too long. Frankly, there is no bad stew.
For the wine here, Sumac Ridge Pinot Blanc ($12) is perfect, if you can find it, but any pinot blanc will do.
I read a Tyler Florence stew recipe that was four pages long. Tyler must be paid by the inch. This basically would take all day, impinging on ski (or shovel) time.
I’ve always been a fan of simple stews. Years ago, they called them “peasant” stews. Jim’s Canadian Clipper stew is just that.
The Clipper comes not from the great sailing ships that once plied far-northwest harbors. It’s for those nasty low-pressure storms that scream out of Alberta and reach as far as our driveways enroute to forming nor’easters at the coast.
CANADIAN CLIPPER STEW
20 ounces chicken broth (canned is fine)
2 pounds cooked chicken meat
6 carrots, peeled and cut in coins
4 parsnips or 4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed bite size (see note below)
1/2 cup red pepper, julienned
4 tablespoons butter
3 stalks celery, sliced widthwise, include leaves
1 medium red onion, cubed
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Dash of red pepper flakes or pepper sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/3 cup whipping (heavy) cream or half and half
Whisk flour into wine and stock. Add remaining ingredients except for whipping cream. Cover and simmer for 90 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes. Add more broth if needed.
Remove from heat and add cream. Stir and serve in bowls with biscuits or dumplings.
Note: Use parsnips if planning to freeze, potatoes if not. Potatoes become grainy when frozen.
Serves 6 to 8.
Jim Hillibish writes for The Repository in Canton, Ohio. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.