Friday, October 22, 2010

Fortify someone you love with a slow cooker favorite, Hunter Style Chicken Stew

Paging through recipes of how chicken soup is served up across the globe, I was inspired to treat my growing family to this chef’s version of a classic. We are all over-the-moon (and pretty exhausted!) after welcoming my second grandson into the world. Enjoy him…and hang in there! Please know that some of the best comfort food I know is coming your way; this delightful dish travels well…spoiler alert!

It takes a village to feed a friend—that’s why there’s
I talk a lot about “Freezer Pleasers”–dishes we can all roll up our sleeves and easily tote over to the busy young parents raising our grandkids, but there are other pack-and-go crowd pleasers that encourage Nanas and Extreme Party-Planners alike to get on board with the Slow Food Movement by preparing more fresh healthy food, MORE OFTEN; then make sure we all sit down and really taste it.

Recently, I found a wonderful resource called that lets you participate in meal creation via an online sign-up sheet; this way everyone gets involved with the understanding that you don’t have to be a Food Network Star to help nourish and fortify a loved one; you just do what you can do. Click around on their site for more details.

My “Meals on Wheels” Recipe
I plan on “penciling in”, for my wonderful daughter-in-law and new Mom, Hunter Style Chicken Stew—perfect for those days when you are: “In for the night and ready for the long-haul!” What better way to fortify the troops than with a perfect, full-bodied chicken soup just like grandma used to make—and in this case is still making! I’m getting out my slow cooker—a brand and model that can practically perform magic (see my Favorite Things) and using it to introduce my first hard core “comfort food” of the season. The main thing to get excited about in this recipe?? You basically get to set the slow cooker on medium high for the day and walk away!

Why is it the perfect time for this stew?
As of October 1st, flu season was in full swing. With vulnerable loved ones in our lives, it’s a good idea to get flu shots and build our immunity with good, fresh food. Research done by the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha ran a study on chicken soup, and found evidence to support the folklore about its positive influence on upper respiratory colds!

Global Twists on Chicken Soup
Chinese chicken soup is made from old hens and seasoned with ginger, spring onions and star anise.
Colombian chicken soup is made with sweet corn, several types of potatoes, avacados and native herbs; in Mexico it’s got whole chicken pieces instead of chopped or shredded chicken, and large cuts of vegetables, plus cabbage leaves.
Bulgarian chicken soup is made with lemon juice and vingar.
French chicken soup includes bay leaves, fresh thyme, dry white wine and loads of garlic.
German chicken soup is all about semolina dumplings and pickling spices.
In Greece, chicken soup is made with lemon and eggs, and served with small bits of pasta.
In Israel chicken soup is considered the traditional dish of the Jewish kitchen; chicken fat is used in the broth and it’s sesaoned with parsley, fresh dill and thyme.
Portugal and Brazil are on my page, by adding rice to their chicken soup
Jorj’s chicken soup produces a bouquet of aromas that brings every last soldier to the dinner table, expecting a regal occasion, yet happily departing to the family room, soup mug in hand! Grab your afghans everybody—it’s time to bundle up!

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