Always on the lookout for a good soup cookbook, I came upon a free one at tai chi. There’s always a table full of stuff other people don’t want anymore, this week I scored a pizza peel and an atlas. I liked the look of this particular recipe using chicken in a non-traditional stew. I changed a few of the ingredients to make it more Mexican. I used bouillon cubes and water for stock, and it was suitably rich and tasty, what with all the veggies and linguica.

Southwestern Chicken Stew

3 lbs. chicken thighs, skin removed (about 6 pieces)
1/4 C flour
1/4 C olive oil
2 T minced garlic
5 C water with 4 bouillon cubes (or broth)
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 large chopped onion
1 1/2 t salt
2 t cumin
1 T oregano
1 t thyme
1 bay leaf
1/4 t red pepper flakes
8 oz. linguica sausage, cut in 1 inch chunks
2 C cubed potatoes
1 C sliced carrots
2 C cubed zucchini
1 10 oz. pkg frozen corn
fresh cilantro for garnish

This looks like a lot of ingredients but it goes pretty fast.

Put flour on a plate and coat the chicken thighs. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large soup pot over med-high heat and brown the chicken.
Remove chicken with a spoon or tongs to a plate, and drain off all but 1 T of the oil.

Add the onion and garlic and saute for 3-4 minutes, stirring now and then. Add the leftover flour and spices and mix for a
minute. Whisk in the broth or water and bouillon cubes, bring to a boil and simmer 10 minutes. Add chicken and sausage, cover
and simmer 20 minutes longer, or while you prep the veggies.

Skim any accumulated fat off the stew, add all the vegetables, and simmer 20 minutes. Serve in big bowls with chopped cilantro on top. Corn chips or ciabiatta would be nice accompaniments.

This amount of red pepper flakes gives you a medium heat. It can be omitted or reduced, or increased!