Winter, that season that encourages warmth and home because you'll find no such welcoming embrace from the wind howling frozen icy death upon your windows.
Or so it would be if this were a normal year and not some kind of weather abomination.
So normally one would want hearty soups/stews/slops to keep the extremities warm once the total shut down begins. I was able to make and sample two soups that, while not suffering through any Regine of Terror or Lack of Scone Terror, were different enough I went with a pun title. I hope you can forgive me.
The First is a Couscous Paella Soup.
Onto the list of things I love for near insane reasons, right under paprika, you can add couscous. It's like pasta but not.
The soup uses Chorizo (which I still have no idea how I was supposed to dice it, perhaps it was supposed to have been cooked first, then re-cooked to be diced.) for a good dash of most of the spice mix.
There's also some chicken but it could have really used some shrimp to bring home that "Take whatever you have and boil it in water from Spain," feel.
Alas, the couscous adds almost nothing to it. One could add rice or orzo and it would probably work better. It seemed the couscous simple vanished into the velvety folds of chicken broth and floating globules of protein.
The Next is a Chicken Stout Stew done up in the slow cooker.
Where the first was spicy this is hearty, where the first was a bit sour this was umami, where the first was runny okay this was rather runny for a stew as well which made me happy because I Don't Like Stews.
This calls for boneless/skinless chicken thighs and because I'm cheap I bought some with both and removed it myself. I decided to cook them with the bone in and remove it prior to serving, which worked rather well if not slightly hot work. The bone will give a bit more chicken flavor (not that it really needed it) and after spending the day in the crock pot slipped easily off with a gentle nudge.
I'm not wild about the bacon, I feel the flavors are lost amongst the strong pull of the stout and after 8 hours in liquid what was once nice tasty bacon becomes impotent tasteless slop.
If you don't care for the taste of stout at all this is not the recipe for you, it isn't like drinking back a Guinness but it's pretty damn close.