Friday, September 21, 2012
FFWD Chicken Basquaise
Paul's pepper plants are doing amazingly this year. Paul has already chopped and frozen 5+ pounds of them to use throughout the winter. He also has more sweet peppers than I know what to do with, so I was thrilled when I saw this recipe was chosen. The only problem was that I needed to make it before our trip to Chicago, and didn't have time to go to the store. I was debating what to do when I remembered that I had a frozen stewing hen in the freezer. I didn't really know what a stewing hen was--only that it was cheaper than a regular whole chicken--and had been planning on using it for stock, but I decided to give it a try. Boy was that a mistake!!! For reasons I can't remember (this was a couple of weeks ago now), I stewed the peppers at night but then woke up at 5AM the next morning to finish the dish. With some practice, I have become pretty good at using kitchen shears and a sharp nice to cut a whole chicken into 8 pieces, but a stewing hen is a whole other story! It was incredibly tough, and dense, and it took me almost an hour to get into 8 (completely mangled looking) pieces. (Paul really wasn't happy with me because he was trying to sleep, and even though our kitchen and bedroom are pretty far away, this was very loud work). The good news is that once I finally got the hen into pieces, finishing the rest of the dish was easy. Perhaps not surprisingly, the meat was very tough--Paul said the dark meat was almost inedible--but I loved the flavor of the peppers and the tomatoes. This is definitely a recipe I'll be making again, but next time I'll be sure to actually get a chicken! Until then, I still have another stewing hen in my freezer. Does anyone has any advice on what to do with it?