21 December 2008

Chickpea Ragout Revisited

So this recipe isn't rocket science, and no matter where you look online, it's the same sort of recipe. I like cooking, but I don't know what I'm doing really... rarely am I completely happy with what I've made. That's not to say that the stuff I make is bad - I just usually feel like it's missing something that I can't put my finger on.

Today I made a whole pot full of this, though, and it turned out best yet.

Maybe Brant would like to make this. I don't know. It's good. And healthy, even.

Here we go...

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
I know nothing about olive oil. i know this is the olive oil I have at my house.

1 large diced white onion
1 large diced yellow onion
I forgot to use the green onions I bought, but I had 3 bunches.
The idea here is that variety might make for more layering of flavor. any old onions will work.

1 diced shallot
Not necessary, I just had one laying around so I threw it in there.

4 cloves diced garlic
While you're dicing you might as well get this out of the way.

3 cans diced tomatoes
You could buy tomatoes and dice them yourself, but this time of year it's probably cheaper to just used canned stuff. Make sure you get diced tomatoes, not any other canned tomato product. This time around I used Hunts fire roasted diced tomatoes (not the "garlic added version") - again, I'm looking for anything that'll add to the flavor. So... fire roasted.

2 cans garbanzo beans (otherwise known as chickpeas).
You're gonna drain the water out, and then rinse these. I just drain the water out, refill the can with tap water, pour that off.. do that a couple times... good enough.

Ok... so you've got everything diced and whatnot. Get a big pot. Put in the olive oil. Heat the burned to the 6 or 7 setting... somewhere past medium. Throw in JUST the onions and scallions (if you have scallions). Stir it up, get everything a little oily... and let that cook for a bit. The onions will start to loosen up and get soft, and when they seem tender enough, you can pour in the garlic, all the tomatoes, all the chickpeas.... salt and pepper that a bit...

1 box or a couple cans or whatever of chicken broth
You want to pour this over everything, usually to about the level where everything is swimming in it. Make sure you buy enough.

Throw in some sliced sausages.
This time around I used a whole package (5 or so) Trader Joe's Sweet Apple chicken sausages - I always use a turkey or chicken sausage, but finding an apple chicken sausage isn't always that easy. Depends on if your stupid Kroger store has any chicken sausage. Mine normally doesn't.

I suppose you could use pork sausage, but that'd ruin the healthy part of this dish.

Ok, everything's in there now... roll back the heat to maybe setting 3 or 4 on the stove. You're just going to let that simmer/boil until the chicken broth reduces to basically nothing. When you drag the spoon across the bottom of the pot, you don't want to see the space you've created refill instantly with chicken broth. That's how you'll know you're done.

While this stuff is all boiling I threw in probably two tablespoons of curry powder. Then I ground up some cumin seed (maybe two tablespoons worth?) and threw that in there too. I like Indian food. This adds some flavor. You could really throw whatever you want in there. Don't be afraid to try anything. Get stupid. I do. Stir it up and forget about it.

So once the chicken stock has boiled off, you've got a pot of awesome. I've seen people put some fresh Parmesan cheese on it, but I don't think it needs it.

If you've used a ton of chicken stock, everything will be nice and soft already. If you've used a little less chicken stock, the chickpeas will be a little more firm. Either way, it's good stuff. If you pack some away in the fridge for eating during the week, the flavors will blend a little more as the week goes on, and it gets even better.

So. There you go.

Ingredient list again:
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 large diced white onion
1 large diced yellow onion
3 bunches diced green onions (optional. use whatever onions you want, really)
1 diced shallot (optional)
4 cloves diced garlic
(A clove of garlic is just one section of a whole garlic bulb. In case you didn't know. Once upon a time, I didn't.)
3 cans diced tomatoes
2 cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas) (Or 3 cans garbanzo beans. If you like them.)
A fairly large container of chicken stock (more than a can).
Chicken/Turkey sausage (Apple if you can find it.)
Salt, Pepper
Curry powder (optional)
Cumin (optional)

1 comment:

Brant A. Zurliene said...

Sounds really good. Anything that starts off with three onions and four cloves of garlic is going to be good. Anyway, You might double the curry powder and add a shake or two of Franks Original Red Hot or Tabasco. That little bit of tanginess might be what you think you're missing. Just an idea.