Sunday, September 18, 2011

Chicken stew

Highlights from this weekend include: a house party turned 90s-music dance party, a three tiered chocolate peppermint cake, witnessing a lot of beer induced man love, sleeping until noon followed by a breakfast in the park of greasy Madonas pizza and fries, a collective food coma after an intense Greek themed potluck, watching six McGill students struggle at a child’s version of Cranium, and waking up to buttery Greek kourambiedes cookies for breakfast. Weekend win: 10000. Homework win: 0.

Also from this weekend came the curious observation of the significance of the time 11:15 pm. Have you noticed that regardless of the event start time, around eleven fifteen is when a low key house party can turn into a dance party on the dining table and grown men start serenading each other to Brittany Spears. When a nice classy potluck complete with cocktail dresses and real glass wine glasses turns into an abandonment of utensils not to mention body parts being formed with the purple Cranium clay. Eleven Fifteen starts the creation of those moments that aren’t quite remembered (or are denied being remembered) when asked the next day. And leads you to decide maaaaybe the “limited access” option on facebook is not such a bad idea.  (No, just me?)

Anyways, it brings me to this chicken stew that was made for a Greek themed potluck this weekend but doubles to nurse a hangover. This stew was inspired from the avgolemono soup that was served at the Greek restaurant I worked at last summer and to this day still cannot pronounce. It lemony and hearty and has the ability to reverse some of the damage done the night before.  

This makes a BIG pot.

2 large chicken breasts with bones attached (optional: remove skin and fatty bits for a lighter broth)
2 chopped onions
4 chopped carrots
4 chopped stalks of celery
1/2 cup uncooked barley
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 eggs
2 lemons

1. Place the chicken in a large pot and turn the heat on high to brown the chicken on all sides. Fill the pot with enough water to cover the chicken by about 2 inches. (You can also add a couple coarsely chopped onions and carrots now to flavour the broth but this is optional.) When the water is boiling, reduce the heat to simmer for about an hour.
2. Skim the fat off the top of the broth. (What I find works well is placing Seran wrap on the top of the broth so that the fat easily transfers from the broth onto the Seran wrap.)
3. Take the chicken out of the pot and once cool, strip off the meat. Discard any vegetables that were added to flavour the broth.
4. Add the uncooked barley and chopped vegetables to the remaining broth and season the broth with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Simmer over low heat for another hour until everything is tender.
5. Whisk the eggs with the lemon juice in a seperate bowl. To prevent the eggs from curdling, slowly whisk in a ladle of the hot broth into the egg mixture. Gradually whisk in more broth until the egg mixture is heated and then pour all the egg mixture back into the pot, whisking briskly.
6. Add the chicken strips back into the pot and add additional seasoning or water as desired. The end result should be a creamy stew.


  1. I will be trying this dish in the next few days. It looks like 'comfort food' to me!


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