Snowpocalypse 2010 dumped about a foot and a half of snow on us, as we snuggled cozy and warm in our little cottage, snacking on popcorn and watching cheesy movies in day-after-Christmas bliss. Today, although the winds still howled, the sun appeared along with bright blue skies, and we forced our way out the door against 3-foot snow drifts in order to shovel out.
A couple of hours later, with a clear deck, stairs and driveway, lunch was definitely in order: preferably something warm, filling & comforting. I adapted my Easy Chicken Stew recipe to be suitable for a Dark Days meal: swapping bacon grease for olive oil and local honey for molasses, eliminating garbanzo beans and serving with crusty Wave Hill bread instead of rice. I also swapped sweet potatoes for regular which gave the stew a sweeter, somewhat African flavor; the sweet potatoes also broke down a bit more than standard potatoes, lending thickness to the consistency, even with less than one hour of cooking time. With home-canned roasted tomatoes & tomato paste, frozen grilled corn & kale put up in the summer and dried chile peppers from my CSA, this stew was quite the larder success story: no frantic pre-storm grocery store runs for me! I’ve got everything I need right here.
- bacon grease: from Mountain Products Smokehouse bacon
- onion & sweet potatoes: Madura Farms, Goshen, NY
- chicken stock: homemade
- canned tomatoes & tomato paste: homemade with tomatoes from Ryder Farm
- boneless, skinless chicken: FreeBird, Pennsylvania Amish farm country
- corn: grilled corn, frozen this summer, grown at Fishkill Farms
- honey: Rulison Honey Farms
- baby spinach & pequin chiles: Ryder Farm CSA
- sea salt: Rhode Island salt from Kenyon’s Gristmill