Simple stewed chicken with homegrown peas and carrots
This year my cousin Prazeres and her husband Manuel have helped me very much with regards to having a good variety of season home grown vegetables. Green pees being one of them and I must say we have been blessed, the quality and quantity of peas harvested have been enough for us and to distribute amongst family and friends. There are many reasons for growing green peas. Mouthwatering and tender, homegrown peas are flawless, gracing your meal with vibrant color and delicious flavor. Traditional English peas have sweet, round, green peas inside a pod; you shell the peas and throw away the pod. Another type of pea is the snow pea, the crunchy, flat, sweet pod of Chinese cuisine that is eaten whole; the peas inside are not allowed to get big. However, one pea combines the sweet contents of English peas with the crispy outer pod, or shell, of snow peas. They are called snap-style green peas, and you can eat the whole thing, pod and all, cooked or raw.
Green peas are one of the first veggies to plant and they’re one of the first to be harvested. This year we’ve had incredible weather and began munching on these peas the second week of April. Now there are enough full pods to warrant a big harvest. Some of this harvest will go directly to the dinner table but some I’ll blanch and freeze for later use. We prefer to eat and freeze peas when they’re still sweet and tender. Once the outside shell becomes bumpy and the peas are super big, they become starchy and lose their sweet flavor.
How to Blanch and Freeze Shelled Peas
Step 1: Wash shelled peas in a big bowl of cold water. Simply swish about and scoop out with your hands.
Step 2: Bring a large pot of water to a hard boil. Add peas to boiling water being sure not to overcrowd the pot. There should be plenty of room for peas to move and the water should be able to come back to a boil within 1 minute. If there are too many peas in the pot, some will get over-cooked and some will be under-cooked.
Step 3: Once the water and peas return to a boil, watch the timer carefully and boil (blanch) your peas for only 1 1/2 minutes. That’s all you need for blanching.
Step 4: Immediately scoop out your peas and cool them instantly in an ice water bath. The ice water will help ensure the peas don’t continue to cook from their own heat. Overcooking the peas will leave them too mushy once you reheat them to serve later on. Once all the peas have cooled, drain the water well.
Step 5: Drain peas well and place in freezer bags. You can freeze in individual bags based on the amount of peas you would typically serve at one meal. Now you have, delicious peas all year long!
So today I’ve prepared a simple chicken stew with homegrown peas and carrots. This is not a time consuming dish and very nourishing, we both love it, try it and let me know.
½ a chicken
150ml of white wine
150g of peas
1 small onion
2 garlic cloves
Olive oil to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
Chop the onion and garlic. Place a pot on the stove with a dash of extra virgin olive oil and add the onion and the chopped garlic allowing them to braise. Cut the tomato into small pieces and the carrots into thin rings add to the stew, letting it cook for two to three minutes. Add the chicken, the wine and season with salt and pepper. Let it cook on low heat for about 20 minutes. Add the peas and cook for another 10 or 15 minutes until the chicken is tender. Add the fresh coriander. Serve the chicken with white rice and a green salad if you like, we had ours just as per the recipe.