My baby loves this recipe for baby food chicken stew, and I’m sure yours will too. It’s packed with healthy veggies and tender chicken stewed together to make the perfect comfort food. This recipe is appropriate for babies 6 months and older, depending on the preparation. You can puree it very fine, or leave it in finger food-sized chunks. Mine son, Grayson, is almost eleven months and eats his stew both ways. He loves to feed himself, but he ends up making a big mess and doesn’t get enough in his mouth. He likes the carrots best, so tend to pick those out first, and then smear the rest on his tray and onto the floor. For this reason, I feed him the puree too, just to make sure he eats a good meal.
This is an easy one-pot meal that can be made on the stove or in your slow cooker. When it’s done, freeze it into ice cube trays or larger individual servings so you have healthy homemade baby food whenever you need it.
If you like this recipe, try some of my other homemade baby food recipes:
Roast chicken thighs skin-on for about 30 minutes, until done. Allow to cool. Remove the skin and discard. Remove the meat from the bone and chop into small pieces.
In a small pan, cook onion in olive oil until soft. Add the chicken, carrot, celery, potato, garlic powder, thyme, bay leaf, tomato paste and stock to the pan. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook on low heat until the carrot is very tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaf.
Puree this mixture until very smooth, or feed to your baby as-is, if they are able to chew.
This Caribbean goat stew goes a little outside of my comfort zone, but I’m glad I took the trip. After all, trying new things is really the point of all this cooking and blogging. With the onset of Fall, I’m deep in comfort food mode, making soups, stews and chowders, which remind me of living up North. Living in downtown Miami, we see a lot of Caribbean influences in the cuisine (and it still feels like summer). Just a few minutes from my home, you can get authentic Haitian goat stew, Cuban whole fried snapper and Jamaican callaloo.
The organic farm I purchase my meats and dairy from offers goat stew meat by the pound, so I decided to try some, stewed in rich Caribbean flavors like allspice, scotch bonnet peppers and Indian curry. The resulting stew is complex and delicious. The goat was very tender and flavorful. More flavorful than beef and free from any gamy flavor.
Curried goat is typically served with white rice (you need it with the heat of the peppers). I added lots of stew vegetables we are familiar with, like carrots, celery and potatoes. Because it was so spicy, I couldn’t share this dish with the baby, but between my husband and me, the leftovers disappeared fast. If you are able to find goat meat in your local grocery or a specialty market, I highly recommend it. It’s low in saturated fat and delicious. We will definitely be enjoying this dish again soon.
Note: I used boneless goat meat for this recipe, but it also works with chunks on the bone (probably better!). Use 4-5 pounds of bone-in meat.
Yield: 6 servings
Season the goat meat with salt and pepper and pat dry. Using a heavy skillet, brown the goat (in batches) in olive oil over medium heat. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add onions and ginger to the pan and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, carrots, celery, scotch bonnet pepper (if using), curry powder, bay leaf, allspice and cinnamon. Cook and stir another 5-10 minutes.
Add the tomato paste, stock and water (or wine) to the pan. Return the goat meat to the pan. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook for 40 minutes on low heat.
After 40 minutes, add the potatoes and tomatoes. Cook for an additional 30 minutes. Taste for seasonings and heat. Add salt and freshly ground pepper as needed. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.
Octopus is delicious. If the only octopus you’ve had is the kind sitting on a ball of rice, you need to try it again. Try it grilled Mediterranean style or stewed, like in this Spanish style octopus stew inspired by a dish I had on Arrecife, one of the Spanish Canary islands. Cooked this way, octopus loses its toughness and becomes delicate and tender. Paired with potatoes, mushrooms, and lots of paprika, this is one of those rich and satisfying recipes that highlight octopus to perfection.
Now the only thing you have to conquer is cooking the octopus. I purchase mine fresh or frozen from a seafood market right on the bay. Handling a raw octopus isn’t for the faint hearted. I’m not saying it’s difficult. It’s very easy. But you do have to cook and clean a somewhat disturbing-looking creature. The trick is to dunk the whole octopus in boiling water before you cut it up. This will magically transform a soggy, limp octopus into a firm one that is much easier to handle. Once it’s chopped up into bite-size chunks, the rest is cake. Just throw your ingredients in a pot and let it stew for a few hours.
A few hours? Yes. Octopus is also one of the few seafood items that benefits from a long cooking time. I tried to find other seafood that you can cook like this, but after a not-so-lengthy Google search, I came up with nothing. According to the experts, ALL seafood should be cooked only 10 minutes. Not the octopus. This creature benefits from cooking in its own juices for 4 or 5 hours (or beating with a plank–something for the more advanced home cook).
I used a 1 1/2 pound fresh octopus for this dish. It looks like a lot, but once the moisture is released, octopus shrinks vastly in size. If you are using frozen octopus, allow it to thaw in the refrigerator first. To prepare, bring a large pot of unsalted water to a hard boil. Place the whole octopus in the boiling water and cook for 8-10 minutes. If you are using several smaller octopus, boil for 2-5 minutes.
You will know the octopus is ready when the color changes from grayish brown to a reddish tone and the flesh becomes firm.
Remove the octopus from the water and allow it to cool on a cutting board. Now chop the legs into 2” pieces, moving up to the head. Get in there, cutting the “tube-like” muscles as close to the head as possible. Stop cutting when you get about an inch from the center point—where the beak is. You don’t want to eat this part. For large octopus, you toss the head as well. With baby octopus, leave the head on, making sure the beak has been removed.
Now you are ready to make your stew.
Sauté the onion and celery in olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, about 5 minutes until they are soft but not brown. Add the garlic and saffron and stir a few minutes more. Add the hot and sweet paprika, bay leaf, white wine and stock. Add the octopus and season with ¼ teaspoon of salt and black pepper. Bring to a low simmer, cover and cook for 3 hours.
Uncover the stew and add the potatoes and mushrooms. Cover and cook for another 40 minutes. Uncover and stir in lemon juice. Taste and season again with salt and pepper if needed. Stir in parsley right before serving.