September at the growers market means tomatoes are getting cheap, and the smell of autumn is in the air. Because of our warm days, we still have summer squash, and we can’t get enough. During the week I grill them, but today they went into the stew.
Mitchell has fallen in love with the Organic Roasted Chili Pepper stall from Westwind Gardens in Forest Grove.
Today we bought a $5 bag of hot Sugar Chilies, guaranteed to be sweet and between a 4-7 on the heat scale, which is warmer than a poblano.
Another lesson learned: If you say you want small hens to a grower of heritage hens you will get hens the size of Rock Cornish Game Hens! Three of our hens from Deck Family FArms went into this stew; two will be cooked like Rock Cornish Game Hens.
The stew is fabulous; Mitchell is saying this is the best one ever. I can’t share it with my extended family; all my family are hot pepper wussies!
You need a stock pot bigger than a Dutch oven and smaller than a lobster pot.
This recipe used approximately 6 pounds of chicken, innards removed: put into stock pot.
Add 1 of the large sweet onions, if possible, or a yellow onion, cut into 16th’s or large chunks. Add 2 heaping teaspoons of roasted chopped garlic. 2 heaping teaspoons of ground cumin, a bit of garlic salt, and a teaspoon of black pepper topped the items in the pot. I medium pan of diced tomatoes with garlic were added for flavor.
1 box of Pacific Free Range chicken stock was poured into the pot, then as we didn’t have any veggie stock on hand, I chopped beet greens, added two older squash cut in half (the latter were removed later), and then topped with tap water.
Bring to a boil then lower to medium heat and allow to simmer for 2 hours. The bird is not only tender, but the bones are leaching good minerals and flavor into the stock.
Remove the chicken carefully (it may want to fall apart at an inopportune time and cover you with hot stock.) Let cool to the touch and debone the bird. I use every bit of chicken except the skin, even stripping the neck. I hand-pull the chicken into strips. Put it all back into the stock pot.
Add the other two cans of diced tomatoes. We added half the bag of roasted sugar chilies, five chilies, chopped into small slivers, and three chopped roasted poblanos. Add the other two cans of Fire Roasted Diced Adobo Tomatoes and the other had Chipotle Peppers. Chop the second large sweet onion (a handful of green onions cut into 1-inch lengths would be good too). Chop four stalks of celery with the leaves (good luck finding them with leaves in the store) for a full robust flavor. Add all to the pot and simmer for while doing the next.
Drain the large can and small can of black beans. Chop the summer squash into bite sized bits and set aside. I use heirloom for better flavor — in this recipe I used those yellow crookneck squash, an heirloom Italian that has the ridges, and two ronde de nice. Turn the heat off the stew, put the beans in and the squash in, and let it sit without heat for 15 minutes.
Salt and pepper to taste.
We freeze some for our lunches in the studio. Serve with crisp bread or over rice.
cumin, pepper, garlic salt
2 large sweet yellow onion
2 teaspoons of roasted chopped garlic
Pacific Free Range Chicken Stock
3 medium cans Diced Roasted Tomato ( I used one of each: Adobo, Chipotle, Garlic)
1 large can black beans