March is here and that means spring; which mean sakura are around the corner! While we savor our last moments of kotatsu comfiness, we can also enjoy our last rounds of nabe and warm winter favorites. Milk stew is a delectable creation I discovered while having kyushoku çµ¦é£Ÿ (school lunch) at a local preschool and letâ€™s be honest, the cold sadness of junior high kyushoku canâ€™t hold a candle to the warm, yummy meals lovingly prepared by the preschool and elementary lunch ladies. So itâ€™s time to delve into the world of school lunch and see what tasty morsels we can unearth and add to our cooking repertoire.
A drizzle of Oil
200g Chicken Thigh Fillet, cut into 2cm pieces
1/2 Onion, sliced into 2.5cm/1inch squares
2 Potatoes, peeled and sliced into 2.5cm/1 inch cubes
1 Broccoli, cut into small florets
1 tsp Chicken Stock Powder or 1 Chicken Bouillon Cube
1 1/2 cups Water
1/4 cup Flour
1 1/2 Tbsps Butter
2 cups Milk
+/- 20g Grated Cheese (optional)
1. Drizzle a bit of oil in a large saucepan and let it heat up. Toss in onions and saute until softened.
2. On high heat, add chicken and stir until browned.
3. Add potatoes, chicken stock powder/bouillon cube and water. Bring to a boil and simmer.
Variation: Add an extra tsp of chicken stock powder/bouillon cube and an extra cup of water for a more soupy consistency, good for dipping bread and adding rice.
4. In the meantime, peel and slice the carrots into triangular chunks. Add to saucepan and simmer. There should be just enough liquid to cook everything, not an excess (unless youâ€™re cooking the soupier variation).
5. In a separate pan prepare the roux:
a. Melt butter over low heat in a medium saucepan.
b. Add 1/4 cup of milk and the flour. Whisk until smooth, over low heat. Add the rest of the milk gradually, while whisking.
c. Continue stirring, increasing the heat until the mixture thickens and bubbles.
d. Add cheese if desired.
6. Check that the potatoes in the simmering pot are cooked thoroughly.
7. Add the milk roux to the stew.
8. Add broccoli, and bring to a gentle boil once more.
9. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
10. Serve with bread or a bowl of rice <3 Enjoy!
Base Recipe Courtesy ofÂ Little Japan Mama
Personal notes: After making this recipe for the first time, I think personally, Iâ€™d make a soupier version with the vegetables cut smaller next time. Waiting for the potatoes to cook takes a while, so Iâ€™d recommend cutting them even smaller than what the recipe calls for. However, if you
like chunky, hearty stew, the original recipe is excellent. Just be prepared to be more patient.
So there you have it! School lunch thatâ€™s actually quite delicious.
Have a good March ;)