This hearty stew is a taste of India. It contains the contents of 2 teabags (1 tablespoon) Chai Spice Black Tea, which adds an exotic, spicy aroma and flavor to the dish. It is delicious served with a dollop of plain yogurt, with flatbread on the side.
The Chai spices I used (Stash’s Premium Chai Spice Black Tea) is a blend of premium black teas and spices: ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom. I also added fresh ginger, garlic, and ground cumin. —Kukla
Test Kitchen Notes
The hardest part of this recipe is carrying the groceries into the house! I'm not known as an especially organized cook, but with this recipe I wanted to make sure I followed it to the letter. I got my mise-en-serious-place which made putting the soup together a breeze (and it also took very little effort). The payoff was a stew that had real depth of flavor and texture. Served with warm naan, it made a truly a delicious meal. I didn't need to make any adjustments to the recipe -- the finished product is so good that I don't see a reason to. —deneen
4 to 6
olive oil, divided
skinless, boneless chicken thighs
Kosher salt, to taste
large garlic cloves, minced
Leaves from 2 teabags Chai spice black tea, emptied
crushed red pepper flakes
finely chopped roasted red bell peppers (can be from a jar)
(15-ounce) can good quality tomato sauce + 1cup water
Heat 2 tablespoon oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt; add to pot and cook, turning once, until browned, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Reduce heat to low and let oil cool a little. Add the ginger and garlic. Sauté until the ginger and garlic just start to brown.
Add cumin, red pepper flakes, and the tea leaves; sauté for 30 seconds. Stir in the roasted red bell peppers and tomato sauce. Rinse the tomato sauce can with 1 cup water and add it to the saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until thickened, about 15 minutes.
Return reserved chicken with any accumulated juices and 4 cups of chicken stock to the pot. Scrape up any browned bits. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, occasionally stirring, until chicken is tender, about 25 minutes.
Combine 1/2 cup barley and 1 1/2 cups chicken stock in a 2-quart saucepan with a lid. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to low heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand covered for 5 minutes.
When the chicken is cooked, transfer to a plate. Add barley and chickpeas to the pot; bring to a simmer and cook for 10 more minutes. Using 2 forks, shred chicken and add to stew.
Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and simmer for a couple more minutes. Taste and season with salt and more lemon juice, if needed.
To serve: Ladle hot stew into bowls; garnish with cilantro or parsley. Place a serving dish with plain yogurt and a plate with flat bread on your table.