Last whole week has been a nightmare. I mean something like a boiler breakdown in mid November leaving you with no hot water and no central heating is something that happens only on TV commercials where they are tying to persuade you to to purchase one particular brand of boiler, right? Wrong! It happens . It happened to us. Seven days ago the boiler made a series of very threatening sounds and then went completely silent. Result: No Central heating and no hot water running from the taps. Total nightmare.
The CH problem has been temporarily solved with a portable electric heater which our kind home-owner provided us with but no hot water means taking a bath with only one small bucketful of water ; water that has been heated in a big pot on the gas hob, no showers , and washing up the dishes all other pots and pans in ice cold water , which is ice cold even with rubber gloves on.
My one major concern was doing up the washing up in the evening after dinner. The idea of washing dishes in cold water in the evening is something I just could not bear. So I decided that till I had this problem I would cook dishes that would be one dish meals ,could be cooked in one big pot and eaten in disposable plates or bowls.
Now a thick soup is something all of us love at home. So I knew this stew would definitely be agreeable to all three of us. It's yummy, very filling, nutritious and the perfect thing to eat with a piece of nice crusty bread on a very wintry evening.
3 cups of mixed frozen vegetables (the variety I had was peas , carrots, corn and beans)
1 cup finely diced chestnut mushrooms (use any other you like)
1/2 cup shredded cabbage,
1/2 cup cooked rice (I had some leftover in the fridge)
1 onion finely chopped,
2 cloves of garlic crushed,
2 cups of chicken cubed (uncooked)
2 cubes of OXO chicken stock (use any brand you prefer)
5 cups of water
1 tblspn cornflour
2 tblspn butter (can be replaced with 3 tblspns of oil)
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat the butter in a saucepan and saute the onion and garlic for a few minutes on a moderate heat until they are light brown in colour.
2. Add all the other vegetables in there frozen form , cabbage and the chopped mushrooms.
3. Next add the cubed chicken and saute until chicken turns white on the outside.
4. Add all the water now and bring to a boil. (The quantity of water is approx ,add more if you like) . When the water reaches a boil crush the stock cubes in it stir well and lower the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes or until chicken pieces are completely cooked .
5. Now mix the cornflour in a small amount of cold water and add this to the stew. Keep simmering until the stew thickens. At this stage add the cooked rice. Then add salt and pepper to taste and serve hot with big chunks of warm crusty bread.
This a very heart -warming stew. Children love it and is also great for people recovering from any illness. And of course great when you have no hot water to do the washing up:;)