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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wednesday Dinner #15 - Thai Chicken Stew

Tonight for dinner I made Thai Chicken Stew, a recipe from the 2008 Food and Wine cookbook.

This dish is a good dish for March. It's got the heartiness of a stew to combat the still-lingering snows of winter, and a delicious dose of crisp fresh greens to remind you that spring is right around the corner.

This stew is supposed to be served with potato-chive dumplings. I'll add the instructions for them per the recipe, but I'll warn you, mine didn't come out so hot.

They basically disintegrated into a watered down potato soup. I'm not 100% sure what went wrong, but I think it was a combination of 3 possibilities:

1. I didn't use the right kind of potatoes
2. I didn't coat the dumplings with enough flour, so they did not hold their shapes.
3. I was so nervous about them disintegrating that my exploratory poking with a slotted spoon might have hastened the demise.

The dish was really good though, even without the delicious sounding dumplings. I would still highly recommend it to anybody. I'm going to work on my dumpling making skills for next time, cuz I plan on making this again for sure.

Ok - Thai Chicken Stew w/Potato Chive Dumplings

-1/2 lb baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
-2 tablespoons oil
-1 lb skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch chunks
-1 large onion, finely chopped
-1 large jalapeno, seeded and chopped (though I may slip in a few seeds next time, this dish seems like it would be good spicy!)
-1/4 cup fish sauce
-3 cups chicken stock
-2 Tbsps flour
-1 egg yolk
-2 tbsp chives
-1 lb baby bok choy, chopped
-1 Tbsp cornstarch

1. Cover potato chunks with hot water and boil until soft (12 mins)

2. In a separate pan, cook the chicken in oil on high heat until brown (4 mins). Add onion and jalapeno and cook another 4 minutes. Add 3 Tbsp of fish sauce and the chicken stock. Bring to a boil and cover. Lower the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes.

3. Remove the potatoes from the boiling water and mash. Save the potato cooking water. Add flour, egg yolk, chives and salt to the potatoes and work in to a stiff dough. Turn the dough on a heavily floured board. Once coated, roll into one inch balls.

4. Add the bok choy to the stew and cook for 5 minutes. Add cornstarch and stir till thickened.

5. Bring potato water to boil and add the dumplings. Cook over high heat until they rise to the surface (2 mins). Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked dumplings into the stew. Add the remaining fish sauce and simmer for 2 minutes.

To go with this delicious meal, how about another spicy Thai dish? Wink!

My favorite martial artist is Tony Jaa, world renown Thai kick boxer. He's basically the man. Here's a scene from his 2005 film "Tom Yum Goong", released in America as "The Protector". This fight scene is fantastic, shot all in one continuous long shot. Oh man, it seems exhausting!

In case you're wondering what's up with the bell and stuff: He's attempting to track down his sacred elephant that has been kidnapped by gangsters. He's a brilliant fighter, it's like incredibly violent poetry in motion.

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