Galician Stew


It should not be as hard to get ahold of rabbit as it is, considering our neighbors’ cat is happy to drop one off fresh on our doorstep every spring. However, this simple tasty stew works just as well with chicken thighs which are readily available. The wine used is Albariño, a Galician wine, but any light dry white would work.

Galician Stew

Adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Spanish Rabbit Stew

  • 1 rabbit, cut into pieces OR 4-5 boneless or bone-in chicken thighs
  • olive oil
  • 2 slices lemon
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 10 ounces red pearl onions
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 sprig rosemary, needles finely chopped
  • 1 cup albariño wine or other dry white wine
  • 1 red pepper, roasted and sliced
  • Chopped parsley to garnish

Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil and sear the lemon. Brown the rabbit or chicken pieces, and remove to a plate. Add another tablespoon or two of olive oil as needed, and cook garlic and onions until beginning to soften. Add paprika and stir for a minute, then add wine and 2 cups of water and stir well, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan.

Add rosemary and the meat back to the pot and simmer, covered, for an hour to an hour and a half until meat is tender. Remove from the pot and shred with two forks. Turn the heat up and thicken the sauce to desired consistency, then add the meat back in along with the red peppers and cook another 5-10 minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Serve hot with crusty bread.

Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 32: Pan’s Labyrinth

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Scarlet Witch’s Brew


For our Avengers: Age of Ultron episode I wanted to come up with something for my favorite, character, Scarlet Witch. Borchst seemed perfect – vibrantly red (ok, magenta), with eastern European roots, and lots of witchy herbs.

I’m a big fan of beets, and often roast a bunch on the weekend and use them throughout the week in salads, soups, pilafs, etc. I talked about it on the podcast, but the easiest way to do beets is to wash, trim, drizzle with olive oil then wrap them in foil to roast whole, then peel off the skin once they are soft – it’s way easier than trying to peel/chop/grate them raw, which is a miserable pain that will thoroughly dye your hands and cutting board.

A few of the correspondences of ingredients that might be interesting to Scarlet Witch – I mentioned some on the podcast, but here they are plus a few more:

  • Beets – beauty, love, rebirth
  • Celery, Bay Leaf, Oregano, Carrots – psychic powers
  • Onions – protection
  • Cabbage – luck
  • Garlic, Thyme, Dill – strength, courage
  • Rosemary – memory
  • Butter – reconciliation (hmm, maybe that could help her becoming an Avenger!)

Referenced: Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs as well as this list on Kitchen Witch Corner.

Scarlet Witch’s Brew

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2-3 carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 head green cabbage, chopped
  • 1 bunch (3-4 medium) beets, cleaned, trimmed, roasted, peeled, and chopped
  • 4-5 tomatoes, chopped, or one can
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 8 cups chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water
  • your choice of herbs, fresh or dried – definitely recommend bay leaf and a handful of finely chopped dill! I also used a good sprinkle of Herbs de Provence which I usually have on hand, it has a mix of herbs like thyme, basil, marjoram and oregano – this is less “borschty” but more witchy 🙂
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • sour cream, more chopped dill to serve

Heat olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. Cook onion until thoroughly golden (but be careful not to burn). Add garlic, celery, and carrots, and cook for a minute or two (until garlic looses its raw smell), then add cabbage and a good sprinkle of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until cabbage is very soft. Add beets and tomatoes, the paprika, and another sprinkle of salt, and cook until tomatoes have completely broken down, are reduced and somewhat jammy.

Puree the whole vegetable mixture in a blender with a cup of water or chicken broth (you will likely have to do this in batches). Return to the pot and add the rest of the water or broth, plus the herbs. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and simmer for 20 minutes or so. Adjust seasoning if necessary.

Serve hot with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of fresh dill.

Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 14: Avengers: Age of Ultron

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Cinderella Cassoulet


This cassoulet is “authentic” the same way Cinderella is “French” – not really, but I think it definitely catches the spirit.

That means it’s more hearty and simple than fancy fare, and it’s made with common ingredients and suits our modern peasant lifestyle. So no duck, although I eventually want to make this exact dish using duck fat as the cooking oil once I get my hands on some, and it’s fairly quick, so perfect for very busy girls who have to sleep by the fire and wait on their hideous step-families.

I have a great cooking vessel that transfers to the oven, but you could certainly make this stovetop then transfer to a baking dish before you top with breadcrumbs.

Cinderella’s Cassoulet

  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 pound bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1 pound chicken sausage, cut on the bias into large chunks
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes (or 3-4 fresh, chopped)
  • 2 15 ounce cans great northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • about 3 slices bread, thoroughly toasted, or about 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • herbs – I used a few sprigs fresh thyme and a pinch of dried oregano, but you can use what you have on hand

Heat a small amount of olive oil on medium high in a heavy-bottomed pot. Sprinkle chicken thighs with salt and pepper (just a little salt or the dish will be way too salty by the end), and brown well on both sides. Remove to a plate, and pour off all but a tablespoon or two of the oil. Brown the sausages and remove them to the plate.

Lower the heat to medium and saute the onion with just a sprinkle of salt, until golden brown. Add the garlic, and stir for a minute or two, then add the paprika and stir for a minute. Add the tomatoes with another small sprinkle of salt, and cook, stirring, until they are well broken down. Add the beans, the chicken, and the sausage, and mix well. Add enough water to almost cover the chicken, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes or so until the chicken is well cooked through (stir occasionally and lower heat if necessary to keep from burning). Remove the lid, taste and adjust seasoning. Cook for a few minutes uncovered to thicken the sauce up if necessary.

While the chicken is cooking, in a food processor blitz the bread into breadcrumbs, and add herbs, a small pinch of salt, and a couple tablespoons olive oil.

Heat broiler. Smooth the chicken and beans mixture evenly and sprinkle breadcrumbs over the top. Heat under the broiler just a few minutes, until breadcrumbs are nice and brown.

Serve hot!

I referenced a couple of great recipes on Serious Eats:

Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 11: CINDERELLA

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