This past week has been interesting, I adopted a new dog and started a boot camp workout. It has been very tiring. As many of you dog owners know, its a lot of work house breaking a puppy. Between waking up at 5 am to drive to the park to be tortured and making multiple walks so that our new puppy can have potty breaks, I am exhausted!
Lately I’ve been slacking off when it comes to exercise. I’ve swam, ran, jumped rope, boxed and even pole danced.
What I don’t lack is effort, I do however lack consistency. Thanks to this blog, I’ve packed on a few unwanted pounds and decided to drop all 8 before my 29th birthday in December–so I signed up for boot camp.
I arrived at Piedmont Park for my first day..full of motivation, energy and gumption. I was even inspired by the gorgeous backdrop that was the city of Atlanta that illuminated beyond the trees of the park–I was ready!
It all went downhill within a matter of minutes. “Let’s jog to the softball park” said my trainer and off I went, with a group of 20 other souls who had no clue what they were in for. We ran down a steep slope, across a field, down a windy path, over a lake and up some steep stairs until we finally got to our destination–that was the warm up!!
For the next 50 minutes we squatted, jumped and ran up stairs, lunged, did push ups, sit-ups and groaned. I even cut my finger..in 2 places. As I was face down in the dirt, fingers bleeding, thighs burning and eyes running I knew I had made the right decision. Sexy 29 here I come.
I dragged myself home and collapsed, only to get back up in 10 minutes to walk my dogs. After all of the things that I’d done so far that I didn’t want to do, I wanted to do something that I enjoyed. I made my way to my place of relaxation–my kitchen. After all the hard work I needed something tasty so I cooked a simple but always satisfying meal of Brown Chicken Stew with butter beans. I am on a diet so I served this with brown rice.
This is a typical meal that is served in Guyana as well as many Caribbean countries. Some recipes use Browning or soy sauce to give the stew its dark brown color but I prefer the depth of flavor and sweetness that you get with the burnt sugar, plus my mom always made it this way. The butter beans thickens the sauce and also adds a earthy flavor but if you’re not a fan of butter beans you can always use potatoes as a substitute.
Brown Chicken Stew with butter beans
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 chicken bouillon
1 medium onion, chopped
2 roma tomatoes, diced
7 sprigs thyme
1/4 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp ketchup
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp canola oil
3 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup water
1 14 oz can butter beans
1/4 cup green seasoning*
2 scallion, finely chopped
Cut chicken thighs into bite sized pieces. Place into a bowl and cover with equal parts vinegar and water, let sit for 5 minutes then rinse. Add green seasoning and bouillon to chicken, stir to make sure all the pieces are coated. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
Remove chicken from fridge. Meanwhile in a pot large enough to make the chicken stew, heat 3 tbsp of canola oil over a medium fire, add sugar and allow to caramelize. The sugar will melt and turn a dark brown(not black). Add chicken and stir. Allow to chicken to cook for about 15 mins, without stirring, this should allow it to brown. Add onion, tomatoes, thyme, ginger, allspice, ginger, ketchup, water and butter beans. Bring to a boil, then turn the fire down to low, cover pot and allow to simmer for approximately 25-35 minutes or until the beans are tender.
Remove from heat and stir in scallions just before serving. This is best served warm over rice.
*For the Green Seasoning, I don’t have an exact recipe. I blended 1 head of garlic, 1 scotch bonnet pepper, about 10 scallions, 2 tbsp of oil, 2 tbsp of water and 1 tbsp of salt.