As soon as the weather starts sporting even the mildest of chills I begin my fall ritual of craving soups & stews. I’m an equal opportunity soup slurper, and have yet to meet one that I didn’t like. Thankfully, Craig is the same way. Although he’ll eat soup pretty much any time of the year regardless of the outside temperature.
This Fall I decided to start things off a bit differently. Instead of making one of my usual chicken soup recipes I decided to go out on a limb and try something new. I went to the store with only one thought in mind “soup for dinner.” Ordinarily that kind of mindless wandering in a grocery store leads me to buying some truly strange and indescribable food items. But this time something else took over. My mind immediately created a chicken stew recipe as soon as my hands grabbed the handle of the cart.
I immediately wheeled over to the meat department and picked up some of their chicken apple sausage and used that as my inspiration and jumping off point for what is sure to become one of my tried and true fall recipes, and even better, one of my treasured one pot meals. I’ve never expounded upon my love of one pot meals, but I think I’m probably not alone in loving them. What’s not to love? You’ve got your protein and vegetables all in one dish…which means only one pot to wash – WOO HOO! Lest you think that all people who write about food have little kitchen elves that clean up their kitchens let me clear something up for you – we don’t. This ain’t Food Network and there aren’t magic prep and clean up elves lurking in my kitchen. (Which is probably a good thing because my dog would not be happy that there are even more inhabitants encroaching on her personal space.) Soups & stews almost always end up in the one pot meals category, but not always, so when they do I’m that much more likely to make them often.
You may notice a “strange” ingredient lurking in this chicken stew recipe – apples. When apples are in season they have a texture that’s very similar to potatoes. You can’t cook them as long as potatoes or you’ll have applesauce (which is a good thing, but not when your making chicken stew). The fresh apples give the stew a bit of a sweet flavor and work to enhance the apple that’s also in the sausage.
I asked Craig what he thought of his dinner that night and I never really got an intelligible answer out of him. It was a series of grunts and moans. When I tried to decipher them, thinking he may have been trying to converse in Morse code, the translation was “my butt is cold I need a hat.” So I’m guessing he was just groaning and moaning because it was delicious and not trying to get his butt warmed by wearing a hat.
Speaking of grunts and moans…Let’s talk about that grunting and moaning some of you guys do in the bedroom. Cuz…..it’s not hot. I realize that sex is a very primal thing that’s been done since caveman days but unless Armani has started designing mammoth skins for men, in his fall collection, that groaning noise should only occur while you are dropping your world record deuce in a bathroom that is out of my earshot.
I guess you figured that since we don’t want you to mention our specific body parts or to hear you talk dirty to us (yes, we do want the guy in your favorite porn movie to shut up) while having sex, that grunting would be music to our ears. Don’t get me wrong. We don’t want to feel like we’re lying in bed with a sack of potatoes with a penis…we’re just looking for a happy medium. We’re looking for noises of pleasure and excitement somewhere between the rhythmic whooshing sound of a wave machine and the screaming fans at a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert.
We know that you don’t want us to be our usual chatterbox selves (ever) so we’ve learned to temper that in the bedroom. We usually don’t like to talk dirty while in the throes of passion (good girls don’t do that…or THAT), so we usually don’t like to hear pervy things whispered or screamed at us either. But we’ve learned to master the art of whispering little things here and there. We’ve learned that you like to hear us make some noise to get an idea of where we are…and we do. So if you’re trying to figure out what we want (and be warned that this can change from woman to woman or with the same woman – cuz we do that sometimes), follow our lead.
I’m not talking about emitting moans in a soprano pitch or letting out the occasional squeal. But if we do a little moaning, you can make some similar noises and not worry about turning us off. If we whisper a few words or phrases to express our glee or how you make us feel, then you too can say similar things knowing that it will be appreciated and not get you kicked out of our bed. See how easy that is?
Apple Chicken Stew
Makes 6 – 8 servings
- 2 Pounds Fresh Chicken and Apple Sausage (casings removed)
- 2 Large Onions (sliced thin)
- 3 Cloves Garlic (peeled and smashed)
- 2 Tablespoons Herbs de Provence
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 6 Cups Chicken Broth
- 4 Large Redskin Potatoes (diced)
- 3 Medium Carrots (diced)
- 4 Small Zucchini (cut into bite size pieces)
- 3 Small Fuji Apples (peeled, cored and diced)
- 1 Bunch Kale – any kind (tough ribs removed and cut into ribbons)
- Kosher Salt
- Fresh Ground Black Pepper
- Parmesan Cheese
In a large stockpot heat the olive oil over medium high heat.
Once oil shimmers, add the sausage, onions, garlic and herbs de Provence. Brown sausage and cook down onions. While onions are cooking add a pinch of salt. Stir occasionally to make sure meat browns evenly and that the onions and herbs don’t burn.
Pour 4 cups of chicken stock into pot and add the potatoes and carrots. Stir to thoroughly mix ingredients. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.
Remove lid and check to see if potatoes are done. Potatoes are done when a fork meets little resistance when piercing potato.
Once potatoes are done, add zucchini and diced apples. Stir to thoroughly mix ingredients. Cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
Add a cup of stock if the level has dropped.
Turn off heat and stir in kale. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Top each bowl with shaved Parmesan Cheese and serve.