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Spicy chicken stew

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October 31, 2007

Serves 14

4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large chicken (about 4 pounds), cut into 8 pieces and skinned
2 quarts water
1 quart chicken broth
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup corn flour
3 medium onions, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon smoked paprika (or substitute regular paprika)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 bag (10 ounces) frozen corn
2 cans (15 ounces each) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (or substitute 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder)
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil. In a single layer, in batches, brown the chicken pieces well on both sides. As the chicken is cooked, transfer it to a large soup pot.

2. Add 1 quart of the water and the chicken broth. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 40 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pot and set it aside.

3. When it is cool enough to handle, remove the meat from bones and shred or cut it into bite-size pieces; set aside.

4. Add the tomatoes to the cooking broth and continue to simmer on low heat.

5. In a medium bowl, combine the corn flour and remaining 1 quart of water; stir until dissolved. Set aside.

6. In a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Add the onions and pepper. Cook, stirring often, over medium heat, for 5 minutes or until onions become translucent.

7. Add the paprika, garlic, and cumin. Continue cooking for 3 minutes. Scrape the onion mixture into the soup pot and add the chicken. Continue to simmer for about 20 minutes.

8. Stir the corn flour mixture into pot. Add the corn, pinto beans, chipotle pepper or powder, and salt. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often, or until the soup thickens.

9. Sprinkle with cilantro. - Adapted from Charles Coe

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