Sunday, February 26, 2012

Week 8–Slow Cooking: ItaLatino Chicken Stew?

I again push the deadline on posting something for the 52 Weeks of Cooking challenge on Reddit. But by the time this posts, it should be before midnight in my time zone. Heck there is plenty of time before it is midnight in Hawaii. But enough apologizing, on to the soup.

I again am doing something mostly by the seat of my pants in this case. Looking for a few recipes gave me a good idea of what would work; unfortunately, I didn’t have all the ingredients to any particular recipe, so I just borrowed some ideas from a few recipes and went with it.

So why is it ItaLatino Chicken Stew? One because it sounds ridiculous, and I’m open to new names. Two because it uses “Italian style” crushed tomatoes and fajita seasoning. And Italian Fajita soup just sounds even more wrong. And there’s not really that many fajita ingredients in this dish. And while there’s a slightly chili like quality to the dish, I know people are really particular about what to call chili, and I don’t feel like offending anyone today.

There’s a whole lot of delicious though, and it was a pretty good way to slightly empty out the freezer and pantry, which is always appreciated in this household.


Thankfully I do have a crock pot. First, ten ounces of homemade chicken stock. Frozen is fine as you can see here. Lots of time for it to thaw out and literally melt into the dish.

slowcooking001Now for the pantry portion. One 28 oz. can of crushed “Italian style” tomatoes, a 18 oz. can of black beans and a 15 oz. can of corn.slowcooking002

And some fajita seasoning that has been patiently waiting usage. .65 oz. of spice including the bag is not quite enough, so I’ll be kicking it up  with some spicy supplements (within reason).


To this I shall also be chopping one and a half medium sized onions.



The onions get tossed into the crock pot, along with drained beans,


All of the crushed tomatoes,


the drained corn,


and the fajita seasoning.


Oh yeah, and the remains of a beer, 5 oz. in this case. It was poured out of the bottle, so don’t be using your nasty backwashed leftover beer folks. Actually that’s probably fine if you’re the only one eating the stew, but you didn’t hear that from me.


This is all given a good stir and a tasting. Needs more kick. A good shake of cayenne pepper to taste.


And some home ground dried Thai chili peppers, just to ensure some bite. This isn’t the stuff that the pizzerias give you folks. I should take the opportunity to apologize to some folks I may have offended in a Google+ posting earlier and are screaming at the screen “that’s not nearly spicy enough you jerk, how dare you insult our people and then give us this weaksauce stuff.” So yeah, sorry. But I have other people to worry about here, and I am limiting the amount of spiciness in this stew on their behalf.


Did you forget the chicken? I didn’t. Three drumsticks and three thighs, fresh from the freezer and freshly defrosted. It screams fresh doesn’t it?


If you wanted to get some last minute tasting in, it is too late if you’ve put the chicken into the crock pot. Put the lid on, set the crockpot to low, and let it all go for 5 hours (there’s more time than that involved, so don’t get too excited yet.)


Five hours in, take the chicken out.


Debone and chop it into chunks. Or shred it if you used white meat.


Toss the meat back into the soup and stir to reincorporate. Now is a good time to test for seasoning. I added about a teaspoon of salt and some grinds of pepper.


Two more hours and it is good to go! Could go longer too, it is a crock pot after all.

Serve with your favorite bread and you’ve got a fine dinner. I made a roasted garlic ciabatta bread, which will be my next post, never fear!


Mmmm, pretty darn good for mostly winging it and restricting myself to ingredients available at home.


ItaLatino Chicken Stew

  • 28 oz. canned crushed tomatoes (Italian style is fine, but I’m sure anything will do)
  • 18 oz. canned black beans, drained
  • 15 oz. canned corn, drained
  • ~1 oz. fajita or taco seasoning
  • 8-10 oz. chicken stock, frozen or liquid
  • 3-6 lbs. chicken
  • up to 12 oz. of beer, but 5 oz. is just fine
  • salt, to taste
  • cayenne pepper, to taste
  • ground pepper, to taste
  • Optional, few shakes of hot chili flakes
  1. Combine all ingredients up to the beer in crockpot, then season to taste.
  2. Set crockpot to low, let cook for 5 hours.
  3. Remove chicken, debone if necessary, then chop into chunks or shred. Return to crockpot.
  4. Continue to cook for 2 hours.
  5. Enjoy!