6 Things That Can Enhance Your Homemade Chicken Stew
Image Credit: Unsplash

Very few things warm your soul like a homemade stew. Stews are typically nutrient-rich since they comprise a number of vegetables. It’s also important to note that stews are typically slow-cooked over a low temperature, Because of the lower temperature, the food retains most of its nutrients and when stews are made in a cooker or any sealed vessel, nutrients in the food remain more stable than other methods of cooking especially if made in a cooker or a sealed vessel. 

Not to mention Indian stews are heartier and more bracing since they also feature spices which fuels your metabolism. If you think you have perfected the recipe to your homemade chicken stew, consider adding the following things to enhance its flavour every further:

Mustard Tadka 

Try adding a hot tempering of mustard tadka to your chicken stew. Since mustard seeds are commonly used to incorporate a nutty and slightly pungent flavour, adding mustard can really elevate the stew quite a bit. You can top off the stew right after you remove it from heat or you can top off individual servings with a mustard tadka. Try to use ghee for this and not oil, as ghee will add to the flavour. Add curry leaves, dried red chillies and a pinch of thing 

Infused Apple Cider

This may sound unconventional but using a herb-infused apple cider can do wonders for your homemade chicken stew, even if you’re using Indian spices like cumin or garam masala. Enhance the savoury elements of your stew by infusing apple cider with warming spices such as cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Alternatively, add a citrusy brightness to the dish by incorporating ingredients like orange and lemon zest into the cider. 

Red Wine Vinegar 

While red wine vinegar is not a traditional ingredient in Indian cooking, it can add a tangy and acidic element to a simple stew especially if it has minimal seasoning. However, it's essential to use red wine vinegar in moderation as it has a strong and distinctive flavour that may not align with the traditional taste of Indian stews. If you decide to use red wine vinegar in your Indian chicken stew, start with a small amount and taste as you go. Remember to add it after you’ve added all the spices to balance the flavours 

Celery Stalks

Celery has a distinct and refreshing taste characterized by a mild, slightly peppery flavour with a touch of earthiness. Though its taste is subtle it’s quite crisp and clean. Using celery stalks in your chicken can make it better, not to mention the crunchiness of celery adds a satisfying texture. Moreover, celery is known for its high water content which is great for hydrating your system. 

Chicken Broth Or Stock Cubes

We don’t usually use additional broth if we are making chicken stew at home. However, there are certain perks to adding extra stock especially when it comes to balancing the ratio of vegetables and chicken to the liquid in the stew. If you want to use more veggies than chicken, use a stock to boost the chicken flavour. Moreover, If you plan to make a slow-cooked stew and simmer for longer, some liquid will evaporate. You might need to add more broth during the cooking process to maintain the desired consistency. But remember adding more broth can dilute the flavours slightly, so be mindful of the intensity of your seasonings. 

Kasuri Methi 

Kasuri methi or dried fenugreek leaves has a slightly bitter flavour with notes of earthiness and a hint of sweetness. It adds depth and complexity to gravies that use Indian masalas. For the best flavour, add kasuri methi when you’re almost done cooking or 5 minutes before removing the stew from heat. This helps retain its aroma and prevents it from becoming bitter due to prolonged cooking. Crush the dried fenugreek leaves between your palms before adding them to release their essential oils and enhance the flavour.