Monday, 26 November 2012

Chicken & Kohlrabi Stew

Thursday evening it turned cold, as the weather forecast said it would. In preparation, we spent the last few days prior running around the garden making sure everything was stashed and that we had harvested everything that we could, or at least wanted too. In the process, I rediscovered our patch of kohlrabi that got planted sometime mid-summer then kind of forgotten.

I was impressed at how well they stood up to that. They are generally considered a summer to early fall vegetable, but if the leaves are trimmed off they will actually store quite well. You won't find them in a regular grocery store at this time of year, but they may turn up at a farmers market. Since mine were from the garden, they still had their leaves, but any you find now are more likely to have been trimmed for storage. In that case, replace the missing leaves with a bit of kale or cabbage. These later season kohlrabis will likely need a bit more trimming than fresh ones in the summer.

This is a variation on a traditional Hungarian recipe. I find the slight sweetness of the kohklrabi goes very well with chicken. You can omit the parsley root (or replace it with a small parsnip) if you can't find it, but it does add a subtle and interesting flavour.

6 servings 
45 minutes - 30 minutes prep time

Prepare the Vegetables:
6 to 8 (2 pounds, without leaves) medium-small kohlrabis
2 cups chopped kohlrabi leaves or kale or cabbage

1 medium carrot
1 or 2 parsley roots
2 large leeks
1 or 2 stalks of celery
3 or 4 cloves of garlic

If the kohlrabis have leaves, cut them off and discard any tough or damaged ones. Chop the remaining ones fairly finely; there should be about 2 cups but it could be a bit more. If the kohlrabis arrive without leaves, use some good green cabbage or kale to replace them.

Peel any skin which is tough and fibrous from the kohlrabis - if it is tender and green it can be left on. Cut the kohlrabis into halves or quarters, and slice them about 1/4" thick. 

Peel the carrot and parsley roots, and dice them finely. Trim the leeks, and chop them. Rinse well and drain. Wash and trim the celery, and chop it. Peel and mince the garlic.

Start the Stew:
4 cups chicken stock
4 (1 kilo; 2 pounds) medium skinless boneless chicken pieces

Put the chicken stock in a large pot. Add the prepared kohlrabi stems (leave the leaves until later) and the carrots and parsley root. Cut the chicken into largish bite-sized pieces and put them on top. Bring up to a simmer and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Finish the Stew:
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste
1 teaspoon rubbed thyme or savory
1 teaspoon dillweed
1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
the juice of 1/2 lemon

 Mix the flour, salt, and seasonings in a small bowl and set aside.

Melt the butter in a large skillet and add the leeks and celery Cook gently for about 5 minutes, until softened and reduced. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two, stirring regularly. Add the flour and seasonings and cook fo another 5 or so minutes, scraping up the flour to keep it from sticking to the pan but allowing it to cook thoroughly.

Ladle in enough chicken stock from the stew, stirring asidiously, until the flour has formed a smooth paste. You will likely need at least 2 cups of the chicken stock to be added to the skillet. Once this is done, add the contents of the skillet to the large pot and mix in well. Add the chopped kohlrabi leaves or cabbage. Simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes; total cooking time should be 20 to 25 minutes. The chicken should be cooked and the kohlrabi tender, and the kohlrabi leaves or cabbage doen to your liking.

Squeeze in the lemon juice just before serving.

Last year at this time I made Roast Lamb Shoulder with Cranberry-Nut Buckwheat Dressing.

1 comment:

TC Harris said...

That sounds simple and lovely!