It’s that cozy time of year when sweaters, mugs of hot chocolate and big, bubbling pots of something warm and hearty seem like a good idea. There’s no better time to curl up with a book as when there’s the scent of something soul-soothing on the air, especially when you actually get to eat whatever that savory goodness is. Side note: is anyone else bothered by candles that smell like foods? Sugar cookies, cinnamon apples, etc. Yes, they are wonderful smelling and that’s the problem! They just make me hungry at a time I’m too cozy to be bothered to bake. Okay, extremely privileged rant over. On with the show.
Hobbits are certainly quite known for their indulgent eating. All that food must come from somewhere, right? We know Samwise the Brave is an accomplished cook, but he has to get by with the meager ingredients he has access to on the Road to Mordor. Luckily, he does tells us all about what his stew would be like if he had a chance to do it right.
“‘What a hobbit needs with coney,’ he said to himself, ‘is some herbs and roots, especially taters – not to mention bread.'”
Well now that doesn’t sound too bad at all, does it? Let’s follow Sam’s lead and make a nice, warm pot of stew then. Assuming you’re not also marching off to a dismal land of ash, orcs and other foul things, you likely can pick these ingredients up at your local shop. Now, I won’t be using actual rabbit in my stew, but you are welcome to, if you’d like. Instead, I’ll be substituting chicken.
What You’ll Need:
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 3 yellow taters, cubed
- 4 cups stock
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 sage leaves
- 1/2 cup half-and-half
- 1/4 cup flour
- bread (optional)
- Heat the olive oil in the bottom of a large soup pot at medium heat. Add the onion and carrots and cook them until the onions become translucent and the carrots are tender.
- Add in the taters and the chicken. Then pour in the broth, cover and allow the contents to begin simmering. Add the sprigs of thyme, bay leaf and sage.Reduce heat and continue to simmer uncovered for about 15-17 minutes.
- Remove the herb leaves and the chicken and check that it is cooked through and not pink in the center. Set aside to cool, if so.
- Whisk or shake together the flour and half-and-half and pour in small bits of it at a time, stirring it in until it is gone and the stew thickens.
- Cube or shred the chicken, which should be mostly cooled by now, but use caution. Add it to the stew and stir until dispersed. Season to taste with salt and pepper at this time. Heat until everything is fully warmed.
- Serve with some nice bread and enjoy!
Let me know what you think of this deliciously hobbity dish!