When fall arrives and the evenings are chilly, many of us start to crave warming comfort foods like soups and stews. Our Winter Stewing Blendis just the thing to make your soups and stews taste amazing. It is one of our most popular blends during the fall and winter, and for good reason: it’s simple, it's flavourful, and it works with almost anything.
The following recipe is an example of howWinter Stewing Blendcan help to bring common, ordinary ingredients together into a delicious one-pot meal. We usually make it in our slow cooker, but it can be done on the stove top as well. This hearty stew uses chicken, onions, garlic, celery, carrots, tomatoes and bell peppers, but if you’ve got other vegetables on hand feel free to add them or substitute them for one of the other ingredients.
2-3 lbs chicken pieces (breasts, legs, or thighs; we prefer thighs) 2 tbsp olive oil 2 medium onions, chopped 4 stalks of celery, chopped 4 carrots, peeled and chopped 3 cloves of garlic, minced 2 Tbsps Silk RoadWinter Stewing Blend ¾ cup pearl barley, rinsed 1 can (28 oz/796 mL) chopped tomatoes ½ cup dry white wine (optional) 4 cups good-quality chicken stock 2 red bell peppers, chopped salt and pepper to taste
In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Cut the chicken into rough 2” cubes and add it to the pan, cooking until browned. Remove and set aside.
Reduce the heat to medium, add a bit more oil if necessary and add the onions, celery, and carrots to the pan and cook for 5–10 minutes, stirring often until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the garlic, Winter Stewing Blend, and a bit of salt and cook for one minute. Add the pearl barley and stir until coated.
Add the entire can of tomatoes including juice, the white wine (if using; if not using you can substitiute ½ cup of water or stock) and the chicken stock. Stir and bring to a gentle boil.
If using a slow cooker, transfer the entire mixture to the slow cooker stoneware along with the browned chicken. Stir, cover, and cook on Low for about 6 hours. If cooking on the stovetop, add the chicken, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for at least one hour, stirring every 15 minutes or so.
When ready and the chicken is fully cooked, increase the heat to High (slow cooker) or medium (stove top) and add the red bell peppers. Cook for 15 minutes or until softened. Add salt or pepper to taste if desired.
Serve with crusty rolls or thick slices of rustic bread.
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