Sunday, May 15, 2016

If the Stranger can cook: One-pot Braised Chicken Stew (Inspired by Gennaro Contaldo)

Recently, I have been using cooking videos on YouTube to entertain Noah, hoping to inspire him to try new food, as he has become frustratingly picky during mealtimes in the last year or so. Fortunately, like father like son, he's just as fascinated with them as me, especially those flamboyant 'performances' from a certain hungry Italian named Gennaro Contaldo, who not only appears to be absolutely passionate about his cooking, but also makes it look extremely achievable.

I did my take on Gennaro's Italian Braised Chicken Stew, following his steps as much as I could with the ingredients, and it worked a treat (Noah ate A LOT). So here's exactly what I did:


Ingredients (serves 3-4):

  • 8 kampung chicken drumsticks, or a mix of drumsticks and thigh
  • 2-3 rashers of bacon or 40-50g of pancetta, sliced into small strips
  • handful of rosemary and thyme
  • 1 medium-sized onion, diced
  • half a carrot, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 potato, diced
  • 500g of tomato, diced (I used a mix of cherry and vine)
  • 1 glass of white wine
  • 2-3 tablespoonfuls of tomato puree
  • 200ml of stock
All the diced vegetables, this is what your family is going to eat.

Cooking Procedure:

Season chicken generously with salt and freshly-ground black pepper

Sear the chicken and bacon/pancetta till there is a nice golden colour

Lay the rosemary and thyme on top and deglaze the pan with the glass of white wine

After the alcohol has evaporated, add in the rest of the vegetables

Dissolve tomato puree (amount can be adjusted based on your own preference) in the stock and stir it into the pot

After simmering for 45 minutes under low hear and a final swig of olive oil (taste and add salt/pepper if necessary), serve with some warm toasted bread

Some X-factors that might make a difference to your dish:

  1. Use kampung/free-range chicken. It's more tasty, more healthy and less oily. If you are afraid that the meat is too tough, use only drumsticks and thigh.
  2. The bacon/pancetta is optional, but having the odd bite of savoury smoked meat during your dinner is really pleasant.
  3. Make sure you brown the meat on a hot searing pan, do not skip this step!
  4. You can be creative with the vegetables, things like parsley, celery and even beans and peas will work.

Buon Appetito!

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