Late Summer Savory Stew will stop you from asking, “Who eats stew in the summer?” After you taste this recipe, you will forever eat stew in late August, early September. FOREVER. I promise. When it’s tomato gathering time you will think, “I must make that Late Summer Savory Stew” and off you will go to the harvest made available in your backyard garden or at the local farmers market.
So go and gather. Lose yourself in that place where the tomato clings to its vine in the sun. Even on a day when hope wanes, it is difficult to feel anything but gratitude when you pick a homegrown or local tomato. Plucked from the vine or plucked from the bin at the local farmers market, the tomato reminds us that one day all will be set right in our world. (Ok, maybe I’m being a little bit melodramatic. But seriously, look at this tomato.)
Then turn and look for the pepper. So many varieties, shapes and colors. Don’t miss the creativity of God displayed in the pepper and how it brings a tang and a bit of kick to our palates. I imagine God saying, “Wait. One more thing. These gardeners and the cooks need more — something that makes life a bit more spicy.” Oh our Lord and his humor on the day he made the pepper plant.
Bring together the beauty, the color, the gifts. See and experience the hope. How can a pepper not remind us that there is more to life than the current hardship we face? Go ahead, twist one off the stalk, grab one out of the farmers basket as she stands nearby watching you and thanking you, grateful for your support of the sacred work of her hands.
This recipe below (keep scrolling), is created by my personal chef. It is a rustic herbal “stew” that is perfect for a late summer evening with a glass of Pinot Grigio. The broth and chicken, while complex in flavor, are light and bright on the palate. Spoon the stew over your choice of pasta. We favor penne pasta because the tube shape is a great transport for the broth. Another solid choice would be orecchiette pasta. Trust me. You don’t want to miss one drop of this broth.
Wait to say grace AFTER you eat this. You’ll thank God even more if you do. In my home growing up, we rattled off this prayer from the Catholic tradition. My mother and I now pray it together during this Alzheimer’s journey. We don’t rattle it now. It’s more deeply felt.
Bless us Oh Lord, and these Thy gifts
which we are about to receive
from Thy bounty through Christ Our Lord.
- 3 chicken breasts (bone in or boneless)
- 2 chicken thighs (bone in or boneless)
- 4 Anaheim peppers, seeded and rough chopped (or any other mild pepper you have on hand)
- 2 large green peppers, seeded and rough chopped
- 5-6 tomatoes (you can use a variety from your garden), rough chopped
- ½ onion chopped
- ½ onion quartered
- 1 stalk celery, quartered
- 2 cups chicken stock
- ¼ cup white wine
- ½ lemon, plus another wedge
- 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh Greek oregano (or another variety of oregano)
- ½ tsp of chopped fresh thyme
- ¼ tsp of fennel seeds (don't skip this herb, trust me)
- ¼ tsp of ground coriander
- Pinch of red chili flakes
- Salt and pepper
- 2 cloves of minced garlic
- 2 shakes of Worcestershire sauce
- 2 shakes of soy sauce
- 1 tsp olive oil
- Place olive oil into a 4 quart pot. Over medium heat put in fennel seeds and red chili flakes. Toast these briefly until you smell the aroma. Add garlic, stir for another 30 seconds. Place chicken and stock into pot. To this add thyme, coriander, salt/pepper, quartered onion and celery and ½ lemon (skin and all). Do not bring to a boil because this toughens the chicken. You want tender chicken thus simmer for 20-25 minutes covered.
- After simmering, remove chicken and allow it to rest until it is cool enough to handle. Strain and reserve the broth, adding it back into the pot. To this add the white wine. Add chopped tomatoes, peppers, onion, garlic into this liquid. Bring to a simmer. Add in ½ of the chopped oregano, two shakes of soy sauce and and two shakes of worcestershire. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Allow this to simmer for 10 minutes. While this is occurring, shred chicken (removing bones). Add chicken to the stock pot. Let it cook another 5 minutes. Right before serving stir in the remaining Greek oregano and another squeeze of a lemon wedge.
- Serve over pasta.
- Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and Pecorino Romano (preferred). If you all you have is Parmigiano-Reggiano that works OK but it’s not as bright and peppery.