Everyday Dorie: Subtly Spicy, Softly Hot, Slightly Sweet Chicken Stew

January 27, 2023 at 10:56 pm | Posted in cook the book fridays, everyday dorie, groups, other savory, savory things, soups | 3 Comments
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subtly spicy, softly hot, slightly sweet chicken stew

You may be thinking that Subtly Spicy, Softly Hot, Slightly Sweet Chicken Stew is a strange name for a number of reasons, including the part about chicken in a recipe that actually calls for beef. I don’t eat red meat, so I swapped boneless, skinless chicken thighs in for the beef stew meat in this traditionally-made, but unusually-flavored, stew.

Dorie admits to doing a bit of a pantry raid to come up with the flavorings in this recipe. Meat is marinated in a bath of gochujang, soy, red wine and aromatics like ginger and cilantro stems. Because I used chicken thighs, I only marinated them for a few hours, instead of the overnight soak Dorie calls for with beef. Again, this is a recipe where I didn’t measure a thing, just eyeballed amounts and taste-adjusted as the stew cooked. I decided to leave the cranberries out of the stew because I didn’t want to have to buy a big frozen bag of them just for a handful, and they sounded odd to me anyway in here. Instead, I tossed in a parsnip along with the carrots (and I didn’t strain them out at the end, since my stew only took about and hour to cook with the chicken thighs, as opposed to three hours with beef). Towards the end of the stew’s cooking time, I thought it seemed to be missing something in the flavor department, and then I looked at the ingredient list and realized it was! I entirely forgot to add the cinnamon stick and star anise. D’oh! I stirred in a spoonful of five-spice powder instead. Because I think just about everything can use a bit of acid, I added in a splash of Chinkiang vinegar off the heat.

The scallion, cilantro and orange gremolata sounded like a bizarre garnish to me, but I’m glad I didn’t skip it because I really liked that fresh herb punch and raw garlic zing as a finisher. I thought this stew was quite (surprisingly!) delicious made with chicken, and I’ll keep it in mind because I usually do have the needed pantry ingredients on hand.

For the recipe, see Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan, and head over to Cook the Book Fridays to see how the group liked this one.


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  1. Yours looks worthy of being served in a restaurant! Just beautiful and looks so delicious! I would have preferred your chicken sub and gives me the idea of a quicker way to enjoy this recipe because it was very tasty. Great job!!

  2. Glad you were able to substitute with chicken and it sounds like it came out right.

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