Simple but delicious and comforting chicken, tomato and mushroom stew with garlic parmesan mashed potatoes makes for a perfect dinner.
You guys, stew! STEW! Do you know how excited I am that I can actually cook stew again? It has been so disgustingly hot these last couple of months, I’ve forgotten how delightful it is to cook stew. And how delicious they are to eat. And if the weather service is to be trusted, this entire week will be cooling down and that to me means stews, pies and perhaps even a ramen worked in here or there. I am so desperate for the comforting, warming foods of winter. Can you tell?
This stew was a quick knock-together kinda dish but lemme tell you, the end result was absolutely mouth-watering. It’s pretty straight-forward cooking and we’re not re-inventing the wheel here but I can tell you, that mash will change your life. Smooth, potato goodness mashed with slow-roasted garlic and intense Parmesan. *drool* Of course, you can serve this stew with rice or polenta or a good chunk of bread but I’ll be honest with you, this mash is the star of this meal. The secret to really great mashed potatoes is to roast your potatoes whole until the skins are crisp and golden and the insides have steamed to a hot, fluffy cloud. Alongside the potatoes, I always roast a few heads of garlic because I simply can’t get enough. And when I made this, I decided to puree the garlic and add it to the mash along with copious amounts of grated Parmesan cheese, a little butter (ok fine, not a little) and a splash of full cream milk. Finished with some freshly ground white pepper (I find it is mild enough not to overpower the potatoes but still adds some bite) and salt, you have nothing but pleasure on your hands.
In fact, I would go so far as to say that this mash is so good, you could serve it by itself. And if I ever come for dinner, please do so. I will be eternally grateful.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, for sautéing
- 1kg boneless chicken thighs, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
- 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 250g mushrooms, halved
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 x 400g (approx 12 oz) can chopped tomatoes
- 1 cup chicken stock
- ½ cup cream
- salt & pepper to taste
- fresh parsley, for garnish
- 8 large potatoes
- 1 head of garlic
- 2 tablespoons butter (adjust amounts to your own preference)
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup full cream (whole) milk
- salt & pepper to taste
- To make the mashed potatoes, pre-heat the oven to 200°c and place the potatoes whole, straight on the oven rack to roast for 90 minutes - 2 hours or until a knife can easily be inserted.
- Wrap the garlic head in a piece of foil and roast alongside the potatoes until the cloves are soft and sweet.
- In the meantime, start with the stew.
- Heat the oil in a pot/deep pan and brown the chicken in batches.
- Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside.
- Add the onion, celery and carrot to the pot and sauté until soft and fragrant.
- Add the garlic, mushrooms, bay leaf and thyme and sauté for a further 5 minutes.
- Add the chicken and all its juices back to the pot and add the flour.
- Stir to coat all the ingredients in the flour then add the tomatoes and the stock, making sure to scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pot.
- Lower the heat and cover the pot. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Add more liquid if necessary half-way through.
- After 20 minutes, remove the lid and add the cream and season to taste. Allow to simmer for another 5 minutes.
- While the stew is simmering, halve the cooked potatoes and scoop out the flesh (be careful, they will be very hot). Squeeze the roasted garlic from their papery skins and add to the potato.
- Mash the potato with the butter, milk, salt and pepper.
- Serve the stew with the mash.