Everyone in the house is sick right now with a cold that just won't quit, so I'm pulling out all the stops. Chicken stew is a very traditional soul food dish and chicken broth is a well-known cold remedy. I start with a very rich chicken stock spiced with immunity boosting spices like turmeric, ginger, and coriander. This stew is inspired by my mother's Chicken and Dumplings, Colombian Sancocho, and Mulligatawny. It takes some time (about 10 hours), so start early or the night before. It is worth the wait.
For the chicken stock:
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2-inch piece of fresh ginger root, peeled
7 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon of whole black pepper
Small handful of fresh lime leaves
1 medium onion, peeled and halved
Whole chicken fryer chicken, cut up, lightly salted with one teaspoon of salt
7-8 cups water
1. In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the turmeric, coriander, and cumin, and stir into the oil, heating until fragrant.
2. Add the chicken, onion, garlic, ginger root, lime leaves, black pepper, and cover with water with an extra inch at the top. Bring to a boil, lower to a slow simmer, and cook, uncovered, for 1 hour.
3. After one hour, remove the chicken from the stock. Let the stock continue to simmer while the chicken cools. Once the chicken is cool enough to touch, remove the meat from the bones, place in a storage container, cover, and set aside. Return the bones and the skin to the stock and simmer uncovered for another 3 hours.
4. Remove the stock pot from the heat. Strain the stock into a large dutch oven or heavy bottom pot using a wire strainer, pressing down on the solids. Cover and let cool to room temperature. Then place in the refrigerator to chill for at least an hour. Place the chicken in the refrigerator as well.
5. Once the stock is cooled the fat will have floated to the top. Skim off the fat and discard. Your stock is now ready to use.
For the stew:
5-6 cups chicken stock
All of the chicken meat
3 ears of corn, shucked and cut into thirds
2-3 large yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 small yuca, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 green plantain, peeled and cut into 2 inch chunks
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/3 cup chopped, fresh cilantro, plus an extra 1/4 cup for finishing
2 gloves garlic, pressed
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
salt and pepper to taste (Keep it light!)
1. Bring the stock to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Add the yuca and potatoes, and simmer for 10 minutes.
2. Add the corn and plantain, and simmer for another 10 minutes.
3. Stir in the lime juice, pressed garlic, cilantro, green onion, salt, pepper, and chicken, and simmer for 5 minutes.
4. Serve piping hot with some extra fresh cilantro.