When the weather is this cold, I start to think of comfort foods – soups, stews and chilli. Recently I spent some time browsing through my Mom’s handwritten recipes. I love to read the little notes she used to write on her recipes and the specific ones she left for me, often along the lines of:” June don’t try to cut out all the salt it won’t taste right.” I shudder to think of the salt in most of those old recipes. This summer I pulled out the old dill pickle recipe and thought I might try my hand at pickles. For some reason I decided to do a nutrient analysis of the recipe and was horrified to discover that each jar contained over 28000mg of sodium. I did not make the pickles.
The other day I came across a recipe that was perfect for a cold day and very low in salt. I don’t know where it came from but with a very little bit of tweaking this Chicken Chili Stew was very low in salt and loaded with flavour. Most chili recipes are loaded with salt and high potassium beans but this is a wonderfully fresh flavoured chili stew that needs no salt. Even better – it only takes about 30minutes to get on the table!
Chicken Chili Stew
1lb chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
2 ½ cups cold chicken broth (use a “No Salt Added” brand)
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 jalapeno chili, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon flour
1 red pepper, diced
1 small carrot, diced
1 cup frozen corn
¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
½ tsp ground cumin
2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
1 tablespoon cornstarch
12 unsalted or low salt tortilla chips (optional)
In a large saucepan, heat 1/4 cup broth to boiling. Cook chicken in broth, stirring, until white (about 4-5 minutes). Remove chicken and set aside. Cook garlic and jalapenos in broth over med-high heat stirring frequently (about 2 minutes). Stir in flour, turn heat to low and stir constantly for 2 minutes. Gradually add 2 cups of broth. Add chicken, red pepper, carrots, corn, pepper, cumin and cilantro and heat to boiling. Reduce heat, cover and simmer approximately 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked all the way through. Mix cornstarch in remaining 1/4cup of broth and stir into stew. Continue to cook, stirring often, until heated through and thickened. Serve topped with crushed tortilla chips and extra cilantro.
Option: Double up the broth and leave out the cornstarch for a warm and satisfying soup.