We’re showing off all things Winter this week on our social media with the hashtag #WinterThings. One of Alfonso’s favorite things to eat in Invierno (and really anytime) are stews. Our go-to when we are not inspired is normally the stew/soup/chili route. But, this time, the fallback meals inspired a super-hearty, Winter dish. And it’s vegetarian to boot! (Just make sure you use veggie stock, instead of chicken stock.)
The chicken stock we made for this recipe was a two day event. Calling it an event might be a little stretch. As complicated as two-day chicken stock sounds, it is actually pretty much all hands-off. All you need is a chicken carcass (preferably organic), some veggie scraps (optional), and water. So, pick that roasted chicken clean and freeze the bones until you’re ready to make broth.
Oh! And I forgot the most important ingredient. Did you think I was going to say love? Well, no. That’s more sap than I’m prepared to dole out over chicken stock. The most important ingredient is most definitely a chef with some pent up aggression. Aka: a chef. You’ll need this ball of culinary frustration to chop the bones in half with a meat cleaver. It helps to bring out the chicken flavor as the broth, and your chef, simmer for the next two days.
Two-day Chicken Stock
*makes about 3 quarts in a standard crock pot
1 the carcass and bones from one chicken
any and all veggie scraps (optional)
Chop the chicken bones and carcass in half or in three and add to the crock pot. Watch your fingers! Add the veggie scraps and the water to the top and cover. Put on medium heat and keep running for 2 days. When the time runs out just restart the crock pot on medium heat again.
After 48 hours, strain the chicken stock and use within 3 days or freeze.
The stock really does make the Tomato Garbanzo Stew a hit. It is one half of what imparts all the flavor. The other half is the slow caramelizing of the veggie mixture before stewing the garbanzos. Plan to just have a drink and hang around to babysit it. We cooked all the veggies on low for a while before stirring them around. This begins the caramelization process without over-cooking the veggies. It also gives them time to get super soft while still putting off that “seared meat” quality- but, remember, no meat was used!
One of my favorite parts of cooking is slowly bringing out the flavors in an ingredient where it seems like you’ve added a ton of spices or sauces, but it’s really just the product itself, simply cooked well and cared for. Okay, so apparently I have an aversion to sappiness when it comes to chicken stock, but not with garbanzo stews? Yes, please care for your garbanzo stew- it will taste much better. I promise.
Tomato Garbanzo Stew
*note: this recipe requires 24 hrs. of soaking before the cooking process can begin
1.5 lbs dried garbanzo beans
2 quarts chicken stock (see recipe above)
3/4 cup cooked peas
3/4 cup chopped butternut squash
1 large onion, chopped
2 large, multi-colored carrots, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 T olive oil
1 t dried thyme
3/4 t dried oregano
2 t salt (more or less to taste), divided
1 t pepper
1/3 c tomato paste
1/2 c tomato puree
1 bay leaf
Cover the garbanzo beans by 2 inches of water and let soak for 24 hours. Drain.
Heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Add the squash, carrots, and onions, and toss in the olive oil. Sprinkle 3/4 t salt on the veggies and mix in. Lower the temperature to low. Don’t move the veggies around too much. Let them form a small crust on the bottom of the pot before turning them. This should take 15-20 minutes. Stir the veggies 3-5 times.
Once the veggies are tender and slightly caramelized, add the garlic and stir for 1 minute. Add the thyme, oregano, and tomato paste and mix in. Cook and let toast in the pot for about 3 minutes. Add the tomato puree and mix. Add the garbanzo beans and coat with the tomato mixture. Add the broth. The garbanzo beans should be covered by about 1 inch. Add water if necessary. Add the bay leaf.
Cover and turn up the heat to medium. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for about 1 hour. Add in the peas and heat through. Serve over rice with a fried egg on top.
We are hoping that by showing off some of our favorite Winter Things we can bring on the chilly weather here in Charleston. It has been in the high 70’s! Tag us and use the hashtag #WinterThings on social media to show off your favorite Winter Things. In the meantime, check out some of our favorite #WinterThings below.
Sweetbreads from the Charleston Wine and Food Festival (only a couple months left for the next round!)