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Recipes: North American chicken and vegetable stew

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The beginning of Friday night high school football games also marks the advent of cooler evenings. With many of the local football games starting as early as 6:30 – 7:00 p.m., it is still early enough to have a bowl of stew when you get home to help you get rewarmed.

This recipe, from Patsy Jamieson, for North American chicken and vegetable stew, with its spice blend of ginger, turmeric and cinnamon is not only healthy because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it can cook in the slow cooker while you enjoy the game (or work during the day) with your only having to add the raisins and spinach just prior to serving. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion, halved, thinly sliced (1 ½ cups)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 ¾ cups sliced carrots (1/2 inch) (4 medium)
  • 1 ¾ boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 8), cut into 1 ½ inch pieces
  • 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained, rinsed
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • ¾ cup raisins
  • 1 (5 ounce) package baby spinach (5 cups)
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • Harissa or Tabasco to taste

Directions:

1. Combine onion, garlic, oil, ginger, turmeric and cinnamon in medium microwave safe bowl.

2. Microwave on high 3 to 4 minutes or until onions and garlic are softened, stirring once.

3. Place carrots in bottom of 5 to 6 quart slow cooker; layer onion mixture, chicken and beans over carrots.

4. Pour in broth and tomatoes.

5. Cook, covered, on high, 3 ½ to 4 hours or on low 6 to 8 hours, or until chicken is no longer pink in center and vegetables are tender. (For a thicker consistency, remove 1 cup garbanzo beans and coarsely mash with potato masher or fork; return to slow cooker.)

6. Add raisins; cover and cook an additional 10 minutes.

7. Stir in spinach until wilted; add lemon juice and harissa.

8. Serve with additional harissa.

Tip: Harissa is a North African hot sauce made from chiles, garlic and spices. It can be found in specialty food stores or Middle Eastern markets.

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