Chicken and Watermelon Rind Stew



This summer I saved up some watermelon rind with the intention of using it to make more jam or chutney or something but didn't get around to it fast enough. To keep it from going to waste I chucked it in the freezer and forgot about it until last week. I came across it and decided to try to use the watermelon rind as the main vegetable ingredient in a soup- to make a Watermelon Rind Soup. I started out by making the soup, but whatever I did to it, it was a little bland. So I gave up on the soup idea and instead turned it into stew - I poured it into my big casserole dish, buried a whole chicken, some onions, potatoes and pepper pieces in there and slow roasted the whole thing on low heat for about 4 hours. And it came out super tasty!


Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil

5-6 large onions, 1 of them diced, the others whole

a largish piece of ginger, about 3inches, grated

Rind of 1 watermelon, chopped

6 ish cups of vegetable stock (maybe my soup would have worked better had I used chicken stock here, but I had none in the freezer so used vegetable and whey stock instead)

1 tbsp oyster sauce

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp honey

1 tsp urfa biber

1/2 tsp Aloha Spiced Cacao

1 whole chicken

1 red pepper, chopped

8-10 potatoes, 4 or 5 of which are chopped

1 1/2 c Kale, roughly torn up

Salt and pepper to taste



1) Heat oil in a soup pot. Fry chopped onions and ginger gently, without allowing them to brown. Add chopped potatoes and cook for a further couple of minutes.


2) Add rind and stock and cook for 20 minutes, until pieces of rind are tender. Add other ingredients up to the Aloha Spiced Cacao and blitz.


3) Pour into a large oven-proof dish. Bury chicken, remaining potatoes, onions and pepper pieces and kale. Place in oven at 160°C for about 4 hours. Serve hot with bread, rice or polenta.


This came out surprisingly well. The bland soup was transformed by the chicken cooking in it and the flavours rounded out beautifully. When heating up leftovers that had almost no chicken left, the flavour still held up really well and made for a tasty meal. We poached eggs in some of the leftovers, too, which worked nicely. I'm not sure what I had expected, but this wasn't it, but I'm still pleased with it! The watermelon rind never cooks down into mush, so it lent a good texture to the stew.

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