A recently repaired clavicle

As some of you have heard, it’s been a bumpy week. Reality came crashing in after Paris—more literally than we anticipated. Because insurance claims are underway, I will stay mum on the details of the accident (please do the same if you comment on this post). But the long and the short of it: Mike was a patient for Halloween. Luckily, collarbones mend and concussions fade into healing.

The day of the accident I had purchased four pounds of chicken thighs to cook a double-batch of stew for a pumpkin-carving get-together that never happened. Instead the hearty broth, full of zip and zest, nursed us through the first half of the week. It is not a chicken stew you serve to family members suffering from the flu. It is the right remedy for warming downtrodden spirits as wintry weather approaches. Or cheering up victims of bad luck—or good luck, depending on how you look at it. Sometimes pain is the best symptom that you’re alive.

Chicken, quinoa, and green olive stew

Chicken, Quinoa, and Green Olive Stew

Recipe courtesy of Sunset magazine

Serves 4 to 6 | 1 hour

4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth

2 lbs. boned, skinned chicken thighs

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large white onion, finely chopped

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon each cumin, ground coriander, and dried oregano (preferably Mexican)

3 garlic cloves, minced

½ teaspoon each ancho chile powder and cayenne

1 cup chopped ripe plum tomatoes (about 2 large) or fire-roasted diced canned tomatoes

2 teaspoons orange zest

½ cup quinoa

1 cup cooked chickpeas (garbanzos), rinsed if canned

1 cup pimiento-stuffed small green olives

  1. Bring broth to a simmer in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add chicken and lower heat to a simmer. Cook chicken, covered, 15 to 20 minutes, or until cooked through; transfer to a plate. Pour broth into a large pot and set aside. Wipe out pot.
  2. Add oil, onion, and salt to pot and cook over medium heat until onion softens and it starts to brown, about 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in cumin, coriander, oregano, and garlic; cook 2 minutes. Add ancho chile powder, cayenne, chopped tomatoes, reserved broth, orange zest, and quinoa. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until a white ring appears around each quinoa seed, about 10 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, shred chicken.
  4. Add shredded chicken, chickpeas, and olives and heat through.