If you were to ask me what keeps a marriage going, everyone has their list, but up on top if you were to speak to the man, it would be good, hot food.
I made a chicken stew last night. And if you are a little perplexed about what the difference is between a soup and a stew, I’m going to tell you. Flour. That’s it. People might fight me on that, but that’s what it comes down to. After you saute the onion, shallot, carrot and celery with a bay leaf, a sage leaf and a sprig of fresh thyme in a little butter and olive oil, until the onion is completely softened and delicious, taste for salt, and add a few peeled chopped potatoes (same size as the carrot-about the size of your top index finger knuckle), until they stick to the pan. Stir in a tablespoon and then some of unsalted butter and keep stirring until the butter melts. Sprinkle in a few tablespoons of flour and continue to saute over a low heat until the flour is toasted. Meanwhile in a pot of water, add a whole chicken breast on the bone, a bay leaf, a sprig of thyme, a sprig of parsley, a carrot, a celery stalk, an onion and a garlic clove. As soon as the water comes to the boil, skim the scum from the top, and turn the flame to low. The chicken should be poached in about 20 minutes. Don’t freak and overcook it. Pull it out of the pot with a pair of tongs and allow to cool for about 15 minutes so that you can pull the meat off the bones and hand shred it. Put the bone, once it has been cleaned of the meat, back in the pot. As soon as the liquid in with your vegetables has thickened a bit and tastes good, be sure the potatoes are tender (cover the pan for a minute if you need to), and then turn off the heat. Add the chicken, (and peas and/ or fresh artichokes that you have braised ahead of time) and serve with biscuits, French bread or whatever moves you.