I think it might finally be upon us. After a mild fall, the leaves are almost all changed now, and the air is getting colder. Time for roasting chickens and drinking cider and making soups and stews. This is a combo of all 3 of those things! I roasted a chicken over the weekend, and made some stock from it's bones. I also had some apple cider in the fridge that needed to be used. Chicken, chicken stock, cider. Sounds like a soup or stew to me. I went with stew... it's heartier and feels more like a meal to me. This was a tasty way to warm up and settle into November.
Apple Cider Chicken Stew
-4 strips bacon
-1 large yellow onion, chopped
-8 small carrots, chopped (about 2 cups)
-4 stalks celery, chopped (leaves finely minced)
-3 cloves garlic, grated
-1 thumb-sized piece ginger, grated
-3 Yukon Gold postatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch-ish pieces
-2 red potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch-ish pieces
-1/2 teaspoon white pepper
-1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
-1/2 teaspoon coriander
-dash of fresh-grated nutmeg
-2 cups apple cider
-about 6 cups chicken stock
-2 cups cooked chicken, shredded or chopped
-1 Tablespoon Butter
-2 Tablespoons flour
-1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped
-juice from 1 lemon
-toasted walnuts for garnish
In a dutch oven, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove and set aside on paper towels. Cook the onions in the bacon grease until soft and the edges start to caramelize. Add the carrots, celery, garlic, ginger and spices. Cook until the vegetables just start to soften.
Add the potatoes and season with a good pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until the potatoes start to soften and everything starts to brown. Add the apple cider, stirring, making sure to scrape the browned goodness from the bottom of the pan. Cook at a simmer for about 5 minutes.
Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil, turn heat down to a simmer, add the chicken, and simmer for at least 45 minutes, until potatoes are soft and the flavor is rich. Add salt to taste.
Make a roux in a separate pan by cooking the flour and butter together, stirring constantly so it doesn't burn, until it is a nice light brown color. Add to stew and stir until well-combined. Bring to a boil for a minute, then simmer for another 5 or so until the stew is thickened.
Turn off heat and add parsley and lemon juice just before serving. Garnish with crumbled bacon and toasted walnuts.