Food for the Soul....Budget Style!
|Chicken Stew with Lima Beans|
Luckily, across town on the same day, a friend posted a picture of a dish using chicken on her Facebook page. My husband saw the post, admired it and then couldn't find it again. He asked for the posting person to share the recipe. In the meantime, several offered up their own versions and found some recipes for us on the Internet. It was a conversation piece. Perhaps we need to get real lives as the hunt for the recipe entertained us for hours
At the crack of dawn this morning I began cooking Chicken Stew with Lima Beans. I consulted my friends' recipes and finally devised my own version determined by the ingredients I had in my pantry. That's the best kind of budget cooking....using what you have!! I decided to serve the concoction over fried grit cakes. I had some in my freezer and frying them up seemed a good alternative to rice.
This dish is Southern, soulful and very budget friendly! The lima beans and the grit cakes are the crowning touches. Thanks to Julie Cherry for the inspiration. Thanks to Phyllis Mixon for searching the Internet for a comparable recipe. Here's my version. I didn't make a roux, but the pan drippings contained flour and thickened the liquid to a smooth and thick consistency. I cooked eight chicken thighs, so I only have about one hundred left in the freezer! I am hoping to find more unique ways to cook those thighs before we tire of them.
Chicken Stew with Lima Beans over Grit Cakes
8 chicken thighs, bone in or boneless
1 cup flour (seasoned with salt, pepper, paprika)
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 cup each chopped: onion, bell pepper and celery
1 T. minced garlic
about 1/2 cup white wine
3 reduced sodium chicken bullion cubes
2 cups boiling water
1 (24 oz) package of frozen baby lima beans
dash of Kitchen Bouquet seasoning to taste
garnish: parsley and paprika
1. Coat the chicken pieces with flour and brown in the vegetable oil. Don't crowd the pan. I did four at a time.
2. Remove chicken and place pieces in a 4 quart slow cooker.
3. Saute' the vegetables and garlic in the drippings. Transfer them to the slow cooker on top of the chicken.
4. In the same pan, add the bullion cubes to the water. When cubes are dissolved, pour the liquid over the chicken and vegetables. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and pour that over the chicken as well. Add Kitchen Bouquet to achieve a dark color.
5. Cover the slow cooker and cook on High for about 2 hours. Reduce heat to Low and cook about 2 more hours until chicken is tender. Stir in Lima Beans. Continue to cook until beans are soft, about 1 more hour.
6. Serve over hot Grit Cakes or rice. Garnish with parsley and paprika.
|Grit cakes while cooking|
Prepare grits to serve 6 according to package directions. Add about 1 T. minced garlic to the water in the recipe. (I used Quaker 3-Minute Grits)
When grits are cooked, stir in about 2 cups of grated cheddar cheese. Line a 9"X 13" pan with waxed paper and pour in the grits. Spread the mixture into the pan so that it is even throughout. Refrigerate. When the grits are cold, they will hold the shape of the pan. Cut them into rectangles and "flash freeze" on a cookie sheet. When frozen, place grit cakes in a plastic bag in the freezer to store until ready to cook.
To prepare for serving: coat each cake with an egg wash, coat with bread crumbs and season the tops as desired. My favorite is Trader Joe's 21-Seasoning Salute. Heat about 1/2 cup vegetable oil and 1/4 cup butter in a large skillet. When oil is hot, add the grit cakes and cook about 5 minutes on each side until brown and crispy. Remove from pan and drain on a paper towel until ready to serve.
Serves 6 to 8 and costs less than $10 for the entire dish!! The taste and the price is good for the soul. I wonder what will be "on sale" at the grocery store next week??