Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Test Kitchen Tuesday

My personal new year challenge it to get out of a cooking rut. Therefore, welcome to "Test Kitchen Tuesday."

As a family, we are trying to eat at home more. But running in the house at 5:00 and hoping to have quality time, eat, baths, bedtime stories, and sleeping children by 8:00 (9:00 if I'm being honest) is quite overwhelming.

Searching my cookbooks, blogs, and pinterest there are so many inspiring food ideas. But pair being a not so fabulous cook with a meat-and-potatoes husband and a add dash of borrowed time you have a recipe for disaster - or Wendy's. Take your pick.

So here is my first Test Kitchen Tuesday. I'll be sharing a recipe and a true-life assessment of how it fared in Sugarbritches land. Here we go...

First recipe -

Pablano Chicken Chowder
(Paula Deen's recipe. Because when you its cold outside, I reach for my comfort food cookbook. Lady.and.Son's style.)

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 large carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 large onions, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 5 stalks celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/8 cup minced garlic
  • 2 to 3 small poblano peppers, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin, or more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon granules
  • 3 quarts chicken broth
  • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro leaves, minced
  • 3 cups diced (large pieces) grilled chicken
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, or more to taste
  • 1 cup heavy cream


Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the carrots, onions, celery, garlic, poblano peppers, salt, white pepper, cumin, and thyme. Saute for 7 to 8 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to soften.

Stir in the chicken bouillon. Add the chicken broth and cilantro, and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the carrots are tender.

Stir in the chicken and cook, stirring frequently, until the chowder is thick and the chicken is heated through. Shortly before the chowder is done, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.

Add the flour and stir to combine. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes to cook the flour. Do not allow the mixture to brown! Ladle 1 cup of the hot liquid from the stockpot into the skillet, whisking constantly.

When the first cup of liquid is incorporated, add another 2 cups of liquid, 1 at a time. Pour the mixture in the skillet into the stockpot, whisking to blend. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes longer, or until the mixture begins to thicken.

(Note: This is where I got really nervous. "Begins to thicken" looked like biscuit dough. I thought it was over right about here. But I followed the next directions, wisking thoroughly, and all was well. Don't be scaeerrrt.)

Remove the pot from the heat. Stir in the hot sauce, then the cream, and serve.

(Note: For meat-and-potatoes Hubs, we added some rice to the soup to make more of a gumbo. It has to be hearty for Hubs or as for as he's concerned, we didn't eat. Just saying.)

Ratings (out of 5 ):

Weeknight Worthy? 2 spoons. The prep takes a minute, so make the night before. (In fact, we grilled the chicken a couple of nights before while we had it fired up for some burgers and fish. Think ahead.)

Family Friendly? 5 spoons. To quote the family "Best soup you ever made," and "I wike it, Mom!"

Clean Up? 4 spoons. It's not one-pot, but it's close.

Freeze-ability? 5 spoons. It made such a huge pot. We ate it for lunch and I had it again for dinner one night. Still put 3 bags in the freezer. Quick dinner fo' sho.

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