Chicken and chickpea stew...

This dish was created out of necessity. I had only 1 chicken breast and had to feed 2 adults and 1 toddler with it... that's when your cupboard essentials come handy! I always have cans of all sorts: chickpea, mixed beans, baked beans, tomato puree etc. As I love all the Indian spices I used some of them here and they've added that depth of flavour to a normally quite boring and not special at all dish. The addition of kale leaves isn't necessary (I wouldn't omit the char grilled pepper though!). It just happened that kale in my garden was due harvesting some time ago and this was finally ITS time :) If you prefer vegetarian stew omit the chicken completely and use 2nd can of chickpea, of course then a vegetable stock rather than a chicken one is a must. The stew is very nice and comforting on a day like today - typical Irish summer: raining all the time and only about 15 C... and it's almost the middle of July...!


How to make it...

Ingredients:- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 chicken breast, diced
- 1 can of chickpea, drained
- 1 bay leaf
- handful of fresh kale, chopped
- 2 tablespoons pureed tomato paste
- 1 red char grilled pepper, skinned and finely chopped or 2 tablespoons char grilled pepper jelly
- 1 l chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon corn flour, if you prefer thicker stew


Take a big pot and heat the oil. Fry the onion, garam masala, turmeric, sweet paprika, ground cumin, fennel seeds, salt, garlic till onion is nice and tender (but not browned) and all the spices aren't 'raw' anymore. Add your diced chicken and fry until just done. Next put the chickpea into the pot and follow with tomato puree. Stir well and fry everything for about 3 minutes. Add the stock, bring to the boiling point and simmer for further 5 minutes. At the very end add your chopped kale leaves and char grilled pepper (or pepper jelly). Stir well and simmer for another 5 minutes maximum.
If you want your stew to be thick, take a cup put a tablespoon of corn flour in and add some liquid from the stew, mix well and pour into the stew. Mix it well so the flour is spread through and simmer for 3 minutes or so to cook the flour and thicken your stew.
Serve immediately with a side of flat bread or alone.


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