Chicken and Rutabaga Stew

Photo: Antonis Achilleos; Styling: Sara Neumeier

This flavorful stew is spiced with garam masala (an Indian mixture of usually black pepper, mace, fennel, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cardamom, cumin, nutmeg, and other spices, available at Indian markets and most supermarkets) and subtly sweetened by sweet potatoes and figs. Serve over cooked bulgur or couscous.

Yield: Makes 4 servings
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  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/8 teaspoon cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 large rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and cubed (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 10 dried figs, cut in half
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


  1. 1. Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chicken, and sprinkle with cumin and 1/2 teaspoon salt; sauté 10 to 12 minutes or until chicken is browned.
  2. 2. Add onion, and sauté 5 minutes; sprinkle with garam masala, and sauté 2 to 3 more minutes or until lightly golden.
  3. 3. Add chicken broth, rutabaga, and sweet potato. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and cook, covered, 10 minutes. Add figs, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper, and cook 10 more minutes or until vegetables are tender.
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