Hope everybody had a wonderful festival period in the past weeks. As for me it was one of the best Christmas and New Year holidays I’ve had since years! Why so special?! Well…
First of all, we invited my in-laws to come over to stay with us for the Christmas and I WAS the chef, who cooked us the big Christmas lunch this time. (YAH!!! SO EXCITING) We used to spend every year Christmas in my in-law’s and my mother-in-law was the chef of the Christmas meal. Don’t get me wrong, we loved the old way of spending this festival. However after almost 8 years having the same menu, both nonna (my mother-in-law) and us were getting tired of the old routine. So when I proposed to my in-laws to come to us, they were so happy and said “molto volentieri!” (very willingly).
Second, and it was the most important one, everybody in the family was in a good health condition! I do not take the health for granted since we had a baby and both in-laws in their 80s. In the past years, it happened many times that our boy got fever right at the festival time. And earlier in December my father-in-law was in hospital due to a health problem. Now he seems find, but that event made us be more grateful to the safe and sound body we have every single day. This year when everyone showed up at the table in a good condition, I was truly happy and satisfied.
Now after having gatherings and big meals for 2 weeks, now with me and the baby alone at home (school will not be back until 7 Jan), I am willing to cook something easy, hot, as well healthy. So it comes to the most easy way of cooking: stew!
Collecting all the vegetables left in my fridge, I found one eggplant, one zucchini, some cherry tomatoes, one carrot, one red onion. Together with the chicken drumsticks, these are going to be stewed in my pot.
- Onion, carrot, eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, etc
- Chicken drumsticks or thighs
- Red chili (quantity as preferred)
- Lemon and crystal sugar (or fine sugar if preferred)
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Also some rosemary and sage if preferred. Marinate it for 15 minutes.
- Cut the eggplant into chunky portions and season them with olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Put a little oil in the pot, when it becomes hot put the chicken into the pot and slowly fry them until the outside turns golden. Take them out.
- Use the juice coming out of the chicken, put the eggplant in to fry a little bit, then take them out.
- Add in extra oil, put the chopped garlic and chili red peppers to get the fragrant out. Put the chopped carrot and onion in to sweat.
- Add some white wine to stop the sweat. Then throw in the other chopped vegetables and the chicken.
- Squeeze the juice of one lemon into the pot. Throw in the crystal sugar.
- Keep the lid on and keep all the goodies on stew for a good 45 minutes.
It is a warm and comfort dish, which goes with rice and bread. If you can’t finish everything on the same day, you can even re-cook the left over stew into a pasta sauce.