Green Chile Stew and its memories

My last few years in Hawaii were tough. Actually most of my years in Hawaii were tough! It’s an expensive place to live and I went through a lot of difficult situations. But my last couple years I had a string of crazy accidents that seemed impossible (breaking my foot jumping up and down, hitting a junkie who ran in front of my car and having him chase me with a knife, getting stabbed in the stomach- not by the junkie, getting cut to the bone under my eye by a window shade, etc).

I really would not have gotten through all these things without the support of some wonderful friends who really are like family. One of these people was Denise Silver.

The Silver family is a military family who went to Hawaii Kai Church. They had high school and middle school age kids who I absolutely adore. They adopted my into their family, fed me, loved me and really filled that void left by not having any family nearby. They even had me stay with them when I broke my foot! Denise was my “Hawaii Mom” and loved to fill my belly with home cooked meals when I couldn’t afford groceries and didn’t have a kitchen in my ridiculously tiny apartment.

One of my favorite meals she made was “Green Chile”. I don’t have her recipe, but I experimented around and this reminds me of it, and so reminds me of her.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 Chicken Thighs
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 2 habanero peppers, seeded and minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 carrots, chopped
  • 5 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes with green chiles
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Bake thighs in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. When done, shred using two forks (much easier if you wait until they’re cool). Fill a large pot with 8-10 cups of water. Add spices (cumin through basil) and bring to a boil.

Add chicken to the pot and add the green chile peppers, habanero chile peppers, onion, garlic, carrots, celery, tomatoes and potatoes. Simmer for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes and carrots are tender. In a separate small bowl, mix the flour with some water and add to the soup, stirring well so the flour does not clump. Raise heat, bring just to a boil and remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

I like to mix in a spoonful of sour cream for each serving and serve with tortillas. It’s delicious!


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