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Simple Secrets to Successful Stew

Posted on February 24, 2012

Simple Secrets to Successful Stew

When the weather’s icy, the warm kitchen is cozier than ever. No time like the Winter to enjoy the delicious flavors of hearty comfort foods like chicken stew. And here’s the thing that’s so fantastic about it: If you follow a few key rules, it’s nearly impossible to end up with anything less than scrumptious. Want to know the secret to a successful pot of simmering stew? We thought you’d never ask.

Start with flour. Toss pieces of chicken in flour before browning in your stewpot. In addition to creating a deeper flavor, this will thicken your stew as it simmers on the stove.

Simmer in stock. Water will make your stew thin, broth or bouillon is often overly salty. When possible, go for fresh chicken broth for serious flavor without the added salt.

Make it hearty. Cut vegetables and chicken pieces in large chunks that you can really sink your teeth into. Stews are a hearty eating experience. Save small minces and dices for more delicate dishes.

Plan your timing. Make sure chicken, beans and grains have plenty of time to simmer, so they’re perfectly tender. Keep vegetables that could overcook out of the mix until you know that the rest of the stew is nearly ready.

Season to taste. A pinch of salt added at the start goes a long way. Let spices simmer with your stew, then adjust seasoning, particularly salt and pepper, just before serving.