Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Garam Masala Chicken Stew with Potatoes and Peas

I got a little wild and added kale and garbanzo beans to this Garam Masala Chicken Stew recipe.

Have you ever bought a bottle of spice for a certain recipe, then the bottle sits there forever in your pantry waiting for you to think of a way to use it again? I have a bottle of cardamon that I use about once a year in a recipe for a Ukrainian honey cake. I make it on my Mom's birthday, because she was full-blooded Ukrainian and its a nice way to remember her. Every now and then I come across another recipe that calls for cardamon, and I think, "I must try that", mainly to use some more cardamon. 

Well, my garam masala spice blend has been hanging around for quite some time, also. Its a mixture of spices from India that includes cloves, cinnamon, cardamon, nutmeg, black and white peppercorns, bay leaves and caraway, and the blends will vary by region. I just know it works really well with chicken. I bought mine atNew Frontiers store, where they sell spices in bulk. I got enough to fill my spice jar for about $1.50.

When I spied this recipe on the Better Homes and Gardens recipe site, I knew I needed to make it for three reasons: 1) use up some garam masala; 2) I have frozen chicken breasts, and 3) we got some nice big red potatoes in our last box from SLO Veg. I almost had forgotten how good this spice blend is! I should use it more often, like when I am sautéing chicken breasts for a chicken salad or something. It's a nice change from the usual salt-pepper-garlic go-to blend I use every day.

I varied this slightly by using chicken breasts that I cubed and put into the crock pot with just a bit of olive oil. I also added a bag of pearl onions that had been in the freezer for a good six months. I let them cook in there on high for about an hour while I got ready for my day. Then I added the other ingredients and left to run errands. When I returned to the house about 3 hours later, the potatoes were nearly ready. We ate this stew for lunch, which was perfect because my husband had stayed home from work with a cold and this was perfect! The only thing is, I forgot to stir in the yogurt, but that's okay, because there are leftovers. I will try it with yogurt added today!

Garam Masala Chicken Stew with Peas and Potatoes

2 chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized cubes
1-2 tsps garam masala spice blend
1 Tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

5-6 large red potatoes, halved and sliced
10 oz. pkg frozen pearl onions
10 oz. pkg frozen green peas
1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans
4 ribs kale, sliced into ribbons
15 oz. tomato sauce
3 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup plain yogurt

I swirled the olive oil in the bottom of my crock pot, then added the chicken and sprinkled on the garam masala. Next I added the garlic and ginger, salt and pepper. I gave it all a stir and let it cook for an hour on high heat until the chicken turned white. Then I added the potatoes, pearl onions, kale, garbanzo beans, tomato sauce and chicken broth and let it cook for 3 hours until the potatoes were tender. Ladle into serving bowls and top with a dollop of yogurt.

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