Turmeric Chicken Stew (from Food & Wine)

I found this recipe on Food & Wine’s website when I was looking for something comforting (and healthy) for dinner one chilly evening. I had almost everything I needed on hand except turmeric root (I have no idea where to find that locally!). I grow lemongrass in a big pot every summer so I loved being able to use that! I did some adapting as I’m not a big fan of hominy or dark chicken meat so I substituted cubed potatoes and boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I also added some chopped kale in addition to the cilantro to add a little more green to the dish.
I have to say, it came out beautifully. It was delicious. I loved the Asian-y flavors and the lime juice added an incredible freshness while the potatoes met that satisfying need for “comfort”. The photo below is from Food & Wine’s post of Paige McCurdy-Flynn’s recipe.

(2 hours to make including 1 hour of marinating)

Serves 4


  • One 3-to-4-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces (OR 2-3 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 8-10 pieces)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges for garnish
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, inner white bulb only, finely chopped
  • One 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 quart low-sodium chicken stock or broth (I used regular organic chicken stock)
  • One 15-ounce can of hominy, drained and rinsed (OR a large Yukon gold potato…large diced to make 1-2 cups)
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 large carrot, thinly sliced
  • One 4-inch piece of fresh turmeric, finely grated (if you can’t find this, you can add an extra tablespoon of ground turmeric when you get to this step)
  • 1 Fresno chile, thinly sliced with seeds (I substituted a nice red Jalapeno chile from the garden)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves, plus small sprigs for garnish
  • (optional) 1 cup packed fresh kale (coarsely chopped or chiffonade)
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish


Step 1    
In a large bowl, combine the chicken with the lime juice, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the sesame oil, lemongrass, ginger, ground turmeric, coriander and cumin. Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Step 2    
Remove the chicken from the marinade and reserve the marinade. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat  the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Working in batches, cook the chicken skin-side down over moderate heat until browned, about 8 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the stock, hominy (or cubed potatoes), bell pepper, carrot, fresh turmeric (extra tablespoon of ground turmeric), chile, chopped cilantro, chopped/chiffonade kale (if using) and the reserved marinade. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer until the chicken is tender, about 35 minutes.
Step 3    
Transfer the chicken to a work surface. Discard the skin and bones and shred the meat with a fork. Return the chicken to the casserole to heat through and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the stew into bowls and garnish with cilantro sprigs, lime wedges and sesame seeds; serve.

Make Ahead
The stew can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

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