With the sudden cooling down of temperatures in Toronto, chicken stew with fresita sparkling wine was the only way to cure my beginning of Winter blues. I think food is really the best way to cure any kind of the blues, don’t you? In the depths of winter there aren’t many things that are better than a comforting bowl of steaming hot chicken stew. To me, a good stew is all about the broth. It needs to be deep and complex with just a little je-ne-sais-quoi. It all starts with building the flavour, from browning the meat, sauteing the vegetables and adding in wine and seasoning.
What makes this broth so rich in flavour is the Fresita sparkling wine. It is a Chilean, fruity sparkling wine (made from strawberries) so it adds a wonderful sweetness, (that je-ne-sais-quoi I was talking about earlier) to the broth. The wine itself is fruity and fresh, and would be perfect for a summer evening, but is the magic secret ingredient in this chicken stew. You know how they always say that you should cook with a wine you would drink? I am a firm believer in that. So I always have a little sip beforehand so I know what I am working with. When I tasted the Fresita, I knew I would need a little something to balance out the sweetness in my broth. I opted to add some jalapeño for spice and a little tomato paste and balsamic vinegar for that extra acidity. It turned out to be one of the most fantastic broths I have ever made.
You’ll also notice that in addition to the sparkling wine, I opted for beef broth. Yes, beef broth in a chicken stew, call me crazy. I actually decided on the beef broth because my favourite Coq au Vin is made with beef broth, so I figured I would follow that lead. This recipe would also work well with chicken broth, but if you can use the beef, go with beef. But you know what’s the best way to start on this recipe? Heading to your local LCBO and picking up a bottle of Fresita!
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Fresita – as always all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting my sponsors and allowing me to continue creating content!