Thai flavors infuse this weeknight-worthy chickpea stew with chicken, served over brown rice.
Stews have topped my list this year for favorite dinner meals. As everyone in the U.S. knows: it’s been cold this winter, baby. Sooo cold.
Stews are thick and comforting and, like soup, can come together in a flash — perfect for busy weeknight suppers. And Thai flavors, with their touch of heat and rich, almost citrusy, lemongrass notes are so welcome and warming when the temperature dips below zero (as it seems to keep wanting to do).
It’s easy to overload winter meals with all sorts of unhealthy things, like cheese and cream and bacon. Don’t get me wrong: I get it.
But you don’t have to, is all I’m sayin’. You can still create deeply flavorful, satisfying meals without breaking the health bank. This chickpea stew with thai-ish flavors is one of those meals.
On the weekends, you can prepare this the long way: cook up your own chickpeas from dried, roast a chicken, whisk up your own Thai sauce. But don’t feel like you can’t take short-cuts. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with using canned beans (organic is readily available, if that’s your thing) or leftover rotisserie chicken or bottled Thai sauce. My chickpea stew recipe takes all the short-cuts, unapologetically.
I’ll take hot and delicious home-prepared, short-cutted chickpea stew over lukewarm drive-thru take-outs, any day of the week. 🙂
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onions
- 1/2 red bell pepper diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon finely minced fresh lemongrass
- 3 leaves lacinato dinosaur kale, stems removed, thinly sliced
- 2 cups cooked chicken shredded (optional)
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons chicken or vegetable stock or water
- 1 12 oz bottle Thai simmer sauce use your favorite* or homemade
- 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas canned or prepared from dried, your choice
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
Heat the oil in a large pan over medium until shimmering. Add the onions and red peppers and saute until soft. Add the garlic, lemongrass and kale, and cook just until kale has begun to wilt. Add the shredded chicken, and sprinkle flour over the chicken and vegetables, stirring to coat. Add 2 tablespoons stock or water to pan and stir until thickened. Empty the Thai sauce bottle into the pan. Add a 1/2 cup of water to the sauce bottle, swish it around, and add to the stew. Stir in 2 heaping tablespoons of greek yogurt, and add the chickpeas and brown rice. Reduce heat to low, and let the stew warm until the chickpeas and rice are heated (just a couple of minutes). Top with chopped cilantro.
*Truly authentic Thai sauce ingredients, such as galangal and tamarind, means an extra trip to a specialty store for me, which I can't always do. So, I don't feel guilty in the least stocking up on my favorite bottled sauces. I particularly love World Food's Thai Coconut Galangal Stir Fry Sauce.