Sunday, October 23, 2011
Chicken and Sweet Potato Stew
Adapted from Eating Well, March/April 2006
6 bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed, trimmed of fat
2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into spears
1/2 lb white button mushrooms, thinly sliced
6 large shallots, peeled and halved
4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 cup dry white wine
2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 Tbsp white-wine vinegar
Layer the chicken, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, shallots, garlic, wine, rosemary, salt and pepper in a 6-quart slow cooker. Put the lid on and cook on low until the potatoes are tender, about 5 hours. Before serving, remove bones from the chicken, if desired, and stir in vinegar.
I was amazed at the simplicity and elegance of the dish. I was wary to layer so much with so little liquid, but as everything cooked down over the 5-6 hours, a wonderful broth emerged. The sweet potatoes needn't be stirred or submerge to cook fully. The chicken stayed picturesquely intact but fell from the bone in tender forkfuls. The broth was cloudy but clean. A picture perfect dinner with very little effort.
The flavors were light and earthy. Meaty chicken, savory rosemary, tart and slightly sour broth from the wine and vinegar underscored with an earthiness from the mushrooms. Despite these being run of the mill white button mushrooms, they lent quite a bit of flavor. While our mushroom-phobe was able to pick around the slices of fungi, he did complain about the flavor lingering the dish.