Thursday, October 20, 2011

Chicken Pumpkin Stew- Halloween Gone Savory

There's something about pumpkin that's really gets me.  Maybe because to me, it's synonymous with Halloween and Halloween means fond memories of eating as much candy as I want without any grown ups getting on my case.  For which ever reason I love pumpkin, I'm just glad I love it.  Pumpkin is a vegetable that is versatile and can be made into a savory or sweet dish.  On top of that, it's cheap and abundant here in Grenada.  How many vegetables can be called a vegetable and at the same time, cause so many kids to smile... not many.

Although I have gone the savory route with this pumpkin, I can assure you that there will be pumpkin desserts to come.  You gotta have a balance between sweet and savory right? I think it's called "Yin-Yang" in Chinese hahaha.  Here's to my Chinese side, or shall I say, my last name (Fung hahaha, I'm an American Filipino that married an american chinese dude).

This soup can easily be made vegetarian.  Replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock and add 1tsp salt total instead of fish sauce.  I would suggest adding cream and more butter to up the flavor.

3-4 servings; 35-45min
1 1/2 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp cajun seasoning
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp bay leaf powder (optional, can purchase at MNIB at excel plaza)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp dried parsley
2 lbs pumpkin with skin cubed 1''
2 cloves garlic minced finely
4 stalks green onion diced
4 stalks celery diced
1 lb chicken thighs cubed
1 1/2 tbsp fish sauce (IGA)
1 tsp white sugar
2 cups water or chicken stock

(you can also add one bunch of okra if you want to thicken up the soup)

1. in a bowl, mix seasonings- cajun, paprika, black pepper, nutmeg, bay leaf powder, salt, and parsley.
2.  bring pot up to heat, medium high heat. add butter. wait until it starts crackling.
3. Add garlic.  cook for one min constantly stirring.
4. add celery, green onion. cook for 1 min.
5. add spices. cook for 2 min or until aromatic, constantly stirring.
6. add pumpkin, chicken, fish sauce, sugar, and water (or chicken stock).
7. mix well, bring up to a boil, boil for 2 min. then bring heat to low, cover,  and simmer for 30min. occasionally stir. half of pumpkin should puree and mix in with soup.
8. serve on top of rice or add in elbow macaroni and evaporated milk (for a soup meal).

*Click HERE for a cooking dictionary. 

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