The coronavirus has made me think hard about my food purchasing practices. Trips to any food purveyor — supermarket, farmers market, international grocery store, specialty shop — have always been a joy for me. If you are an avid home cook, I imagine you enjoy such outings, too. But right now, the smart thing is social distancing. And to limit our physical contact with others, we have to curtail unnecessary shopping trips.
Beginning this week, Kitchen Curious has gone into coronavirus cooking mode. That means we’re going to cook in a more industrious, frugal manner. We’re going to give better eyes to what’s inside our pantry, fridge, freezer and spice cabinet. How many times have you made something out of nothing — and with fantastic results? That’s what we’re going to do. The goal: only shop for food when we really have to.
This week’s Simple North African Stew is a bare-bones version of Chicken Stew for Couscous, published in Joetta Handrich Schlabach’s “Extending the Table: A World Community Cookbook” (Herald Press, 1991). In the more than 20 years that I’ve been preparing this recipe, I’ve modified it again and again to adjust to vegetarians as well as to what I’ve got on hand. You’ll notice that the ingredient list is full of optional items: If you don’t have those, skip them.
I serve the stew over a steaming bowl of couscous, but rice, quinoa, millet or any other grain will suffice to soak up the juices of this comforting, wholesome dish.
Simple North African Stew
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