Saturday, April 4, 2015

Chopped Chicken Ragu

I have this theory that celebrating the birthday of someone is misguided - if anything, the date of your birth should be a celebration of the efforts of the parents who not only have birth to you, but raised to to become the person you are today. It's not overly conventional thinking, but I'm like that! Plus, it takes the emphasis off of me every April 4 ;-).

Chopped Up Chicken Thigh Ragu

Anyways, with the birthday rant over and with a mind to celebrating my mom in particular, I will turn to a recipe that has become her long-time favourite sauce and/or stew since I made it up for a class project in 2009. As I've said numerous times before, we are bona fide veggieholics, and there is almost nothing better than tucking into a dish made with the bounty of the garden or the labours of our local farmers. I originally created the hearty (and gluten-free) mixture of diced chicken thighs, fresh rosemary, carrots, tomatoes and zucchini to be a hearty sauce for pasta or whole grains, and this is still one of the family's favourite ways to eat it. Using chicken thighs (in place of the usual SBCB) lends the ragu not only a rich flavour but more iron, riboflavin, niacin, phosphorus, vitamin B-6 and zinc. That said, over the course of time we've also adapted it as a stand-alone stew (which is awesome the next day), as well as with various forms of protein like leftover holiday turkey, cubed tofu or cannellini beans.

Regardless of the "meat of the matter", we almost always keep a container of this stuff (or the ingredients to make it) on hand for a taste of Summer when Spring has barely lifted it's head!

Holistic Ragu with Leftover Turkey
Post Christmas Shredded Turkey Version!

Shared with Gluten Free Fridays and Waste Not Want Not Wednesday

Chopped Chicken Ragu
Serves 6 as a stand-alone stew, 10 over pasta or grains
½ tbsp olive oil
¾ lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut in bite-size pieces
1 large Vidalia or sweet onion, diced
1 zucchini, diced
3 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves stripped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 large carrots, peeled and finely grated
¼ cup dry red wine
28 oz low sodium whole tomatoes
3 tbsp tomato paste (I love my homemade stuff, but when I buy I look for tubes of double concentrated paste)
Black pepper to taste
  1. In a deep pot (I use my cast iron Dutch oven), warm oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the chicken and brown, stirring occasionally, 5 to 6 minutes.
  3. Stir in the onions, zucchini, rosemary leaves and garlic. Cook 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add the carrot and cook, stirring, 5 minutes.
  5. Add the wine, stirring well, and cook for 2 minutes.
  6. Add tomatoes, crushing them into the sauce, then add tomato paste.
  7. Simmer for 30 minutes, adding add pepper to taste.
  8. Serve alone or with your favourite grain.
Amount Per Serving (based on 6 servings)
Calories: 257.2
Total Fat: 11.6 g
Cholesterol: 94.7 mg
Sodium: 197.4 mg
Total Carbs: 15.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.1 g
Protein: 23.0 g