Speedy Stew (with chicken, quinoa and greens)
It’s that time of year isn’t it? The heavy coat is being pulled from its hanger at the back of the wardrobe, the Christmas lights are on in town and the December page in your calendar is looking pretty chaotic…in a really good way.
It’s also the time of year when truly, miserable evenings happen after awful days in work.
Typically consisting of a rotten headache, an empty tummy, a broken umbrella in the rain, complete darkness on exiting the office and the feeling that you might be coming down with the cold that everyone else seems to have, these evenings are officially THE WORST.
You trudge home (feeling incredibly sorry for yourself) thinking all you need in life is dinner, a hot shower and cosy pjs. Dinner needs to be fast, nutritious and comforting. You have no time for braising or slow cookers on an evening like this, it needs to be simmering on the hob while you shower and ready to eat when you’ve changed into your cosies.
Enter the speedy stew.
This little number combines chicken, quinoa, amaranth and a healthy dose of greens to give you a bowl of steaming goodness to banish those winter blues. It’s done in under 45 minutes and is a one-pot wonder, so the clean-up is pretty painless.
Grab what you need:
300g of cooked chicken – shredded
1 medium onion (very finely chopped)
2 small cloves of garlic (crushed)
120g of quinoa
65g of amaranth
150g of kale – chopped up (you can also use cabbage, choi, chard etc if you have them in the fridge)
Dried herbs – thyme, rosemary, parsley and oregano (just a pinch of each) and 1 bay leaf.
750ml (3 cups) of stock – you can use vegetable or chicken and of course stock cubes/pots are fine in this case!
Salt and pepper
Feel free to top up the veggie component of this dish – extra green beans, peas etc would all be great.
If chicken is out of the question, feel free to use turkey, oyster mushrooms, quorn or tofu in its place.
A little prepping:
Take out a large pot and put on the hob over medium heat with a good glug of oil in it. Grab a wooden spoon, a chopping board and a sharp knife. Boil the kettle.
Here we go:
Very finely chop up your onion and crush the garlic.
Chop up the green veggies and set aside.
Shred the chicken (include light & dark meat) and set aside.
Rinse your quinoa and set aside.
Add the chopped onion to the pot and start sautéing – when it starts to change colour, add in the garlic.
Prepare your stock.
Once the onions are nice and translucent and there’s a delicious smell, pour in the stock & water and stir.
Add the herbs and bay leaf.
Then tip in your amaranth and quinoa, pop a lid on the pot loosely and bring to the boil.
Once it’s at a happy boil, return it to a simmer and leave to cook for about 15 minutes (This is the time slot for the hot shower if needed!)
After allowing it to simmer for 15 minutes, check that the amaranth and quinoa are cooked through and if so, add in your greens now and give a good stir around.
After 2-3 minutes, add in your shredded chicken and keep stirring over the heat to warm the chicken up.
Once the chicken is piping hot, squeeze some lemon over the top, season with salt and pepper and pour into a bowl.
If there’s any bread in the press, grab a slice on your way to the couch because you’ll want to mop up the juices in the end of the bowl!
Words & recipe : Lee-Ann Ronan.