About this picture:
There was once a time when Daniel and I tried to do one of those cool “families at home” photo shoots that I see on all my favorite blogs.
But we forgot that we’re not elegant food celebrities. We also forgot that we both, independently, have always been weird about “picture day,” or any time we’re in the limelight.
So we OBVIOUSLY shelved the idea, but not before we got this golden shot of me being happy and Daniel looking like the MOST CREEPY MAN ALIVE.
I’m still laughing, and I am still just as convinced that staged photo shoots will never be for us. Back to the iPhone photos!
And back to the killer recipe that inspired this all…
Southwest Chicken Stew
This stew rescues us on dreary days when we need a little something warm to burn its way down our throats and warm us from the inside out. Today was a rainy day back home in Northwest Arkansas, and I couldn’t resist demoing this new soup for my mom. She loves tomatoey, thick, flavorful soups, and this is a smoky, Southwestern variation on that theme.
3-4 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, uncooked
2 Tbsp. chicken fat (skimmed off the top of your homemade broth), home rendered lard, or butter
1 Tbsp. each cumin and chili powder (I order in bulk from Frontier spices)
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 Tbsp. chicken fat, lard, or butter
2 large yellow or white onions, chopped
4-5 bell peppers (preferably organic), seeded and chopped
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
1 Tbsp. sweet (not smoked) paprika
6-10 garlic cloves, chopped
2 (6 oz) cans tomato paste
2 (28 oz) cans diced tomatoes, with juice
16 cups (4 quarts) homemade chicken or beef broth (or a combination!)
1/2 diced green chiles (I use frozen chopped Hatch chiles from Trader Joe’s)
2 lb. organic carrots, peeled and chopped
Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large glass baking dish, scatter 1 Tbsp. of cumin and 1 Tbsp. chili powder over the chicken breasts. Dot with the 2 Tbsp. of fat. Place in the oven, and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until cooked through. Set aside to cool.
Add 4 Tbsp. chicken fat, lard, or butter to a HUGE stockpot. Heat over medium heat, then add the onions. Cook for ten minutes, stirring frequently, until translucent and soft. Add the chopped bell peppers, stir, and cook for 5 more minutes. Add the garlic, and cook for a minute more.
Add the spices, stir, and saute for one minute. Add the tomato paste, stir VERY well, and saute for two minutes, to develop the flavor. Slowly pour in the broth, and add the diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a gentle simmer.
Transfer the cooled chicken to a cutting board. Dice into big pieces, and add to the soup. Add in the diced green chiles, and simmer for 15 minutes.
Once you’ve dished up bowls of this, top them with sour cream and shredded cheese for a savory, melty twist. OR, if you’re not on any sort of special diet, add organic corn and tortilla chips for a CLASSIC tortilla soup flavor.
Grace and peace be with you.
^^^All the awkwards^^^
I am not a doctor, nutritionist, or health professional of any kind. This blog and this blog post is not meant to diagnose, treat, or recommend treatment for medical conditions of any kind. Please ask a doctor or a professional before making lifestyle or diet changes.
Copyright 2016 by Celeste Lightsey