Quick Chicken and Vegetable Stew with Grits
It’s starting to look and feel like stew season in Orlando. The weather has only been slightly cooler but it’s been raining every day making it look darker and far more like fall than summer. Finally! I’m ready for a change of seasons. Summers are way too long here.
As soon as fall starts announcing itself, my passion for baking is reignited. Apple desserts, pumpkin cakes and lots of maple syrup concoctions fill my kitchen with warm aromas this time of year. But this year, it’s stew to launch the season. Not only that, but stew with grits. Yes, grits! This is huge for me, people.
I’m a late bloomer when it comes to grits. After eleven year of living in the US and despite being totally open to trying new foods I have finally, for the very first time, eaten grits last weekend!
And shocker of shockers, I liked them! I can’t believe I’ve been shying away from grits this long. I can’t believe I passed them over when I saw them on restaurant menus and flipped the channel every time they were on a cooking show. Boy, have I been missing out.
Serving them with a stew certainly helped; I mean pretty much anything tastes good with a flavorful sauce on top, right? Sure, but the few spoonfuls of plain grits I tasted before plating completely knocked me off my socks. I think I like them for themselves. I think I may be in love.
This recipe is quick, so quick it’s ready in thirty minutes and so comforting and delicious. It’s not as abundantly liquid as some stews but rather lightly sauced like a tagine. Do make it this autumn and let me know what you think.
QUICK CHICKEN, CHICKPEA, CARROT AND SPINACH STEW WITH GRITS RECIPE
Yield: 4 TO 6 SERVINGS
Prep Time: 10 MIN
Cook Time: 20 min
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 pound thin chicken breast slices, cut into ½-inch pieces
4 carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
½ cup water
1—15 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup packed spinach leaves, stems cut off
For the grits
4 ounces (about 1 cup and 2 tbsps) instant grits or polenta
Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Melt the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, carrots, garlic, ginger, paprika, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Sauté, turning occasionally, for about 15 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste. Add the vinegar, water, chickpeas and spinach, and cook for another 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the grits according to package directions (they take 1 ½ minutes to cook in the microwave). Season the grits lightly with salt and pepper and stir in the butter.
Divide the grits among four plates and top with the warm stew. Enjoy!!