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Old 05-13-2007, 08:44 AM   #1
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Need help with "stew" that isn't

I made a recipe for a chicken stew that I am serving to friends tonight (Sunday). Long story short, it calls for simmering partially covered for an hour at the end, but it has not thickened at all. It's more like soup.

Any suggestions? I was thinking that I might take the chicken out and then cook it uncovered for as long as it takes. Problem there, is that I might cook it down too much and we won't have enough.

Help, please.

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Old 05-13-2007, 08:55 AM   #2
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How about adding some flour?

What else is in it? I am guessing there are some veggies. Maybe you could puree some of the veggies and add that back in.
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Old 05-13-2007, 09:15 AM   #3
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Or take out the chicken and thicken the gravy with a little flour and milk blended, add an oxo cube if you feel it needs any added flavour.
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Old 05-13-2007, 05:19 PM   #4
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There are a couple of things you could try.

One, as you mentioned, you could remove the chicken & try simmering the gravy down some.

Two, you could add equal parts (1-2 tablespoons) of cornstarch blended with cold water into the gravy & stir until thickened.

Three, you could combine equal parts of melted butter & flour (1-2 tablespoons) with a cup of the thin gravy or plain chicken broth & add that into the gravy & cook until thickened.

Any of the above should work.
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Old 05-13-2007, 05:29 PM   #5
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I thicken stews with a slurry made of equal parts flour and water. No need to remove the meat, just stir it in and give the stew a stir now and then until it thickens. If you're making the stew in an average Dutch oven, about 1/2 cup of slurry will be about right.
Corn starch will thicken it also, but it's bad about breaking down when re-heating your dish.
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Old 05-14-2007, 12:31 PM   #6
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If you followed the recipe...perhaps it does not need to be a thick gravy?
The meat and veggies are there and the seasonings and the gravy is not thick. Taste? Should be fine.
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Old 12-31-2007, 07:29 PM   #7
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The tastiest way to thicken up a stew is with a brown or blond roux.

Start with equal portions of butter (or oil) an flour. Melt the butter or heat the oil, and add the flour and mix thoroughly. You should end up with something the consistency of toothpaste, or a bit looser than that.

Next, cook for a couple of minutes at a medium heat to get the raw flour taste out.

Now comes the tricky part: deciding how far to cook it, and not to burn it!

Roux can be cooked to several stages of "doneness" that are indicated by the color:

Blond, tan, peanut butter, brick and chocolate all indicate how much the flour has been cooked. The darker the color, the more flavor, but the less thickening power.

Also, the darker your roux, the lower the temperature has to be, and the more you must keep stirring to prevent burning. It takes a lot of practice to make a dark roux, but I don't think you want that, since you intend to use this as a thickener. I think a blond or tan roux would be good enough.

Once you reach the doneness you want, ladle in some of the liquid from your stew and stir out the lumps. When you have enough added in to make the roux liquid, pour it into the stew and stir it throughout to get it completely mixed.

I think you'll be amazed at what this does for a stew!

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