Stew Cook-off Recipes

Recipes from the International Stew Cook-off, February 2009

 Fresh cream and tarragon chicken by Caroline (for 6)

    * 1 chicken about 1.8 kilo cut into 10 to 12 pieces
    * 1 bouquet tarragon
    * 25 cl white wine
    * 15 cl chicken broth
    * 15 cl crème fraiche
    * Flour
    * 250 grs mushrooms
    * Butter
    * 1⁄2 lemon
    * Salt and pepper

Put the leaves of half the tarragon (about 2 tbs) in a saucepan with the white wine and 1⁄2 tsp coarsely ground pepper. Reduce by 1⁄2.
Brown chicken pieces in butter in a cocotte. Salt and pepper and sprinkle with about 1 1⁄2 tbs flour. Mix and add tarragon reduction and broth, cover and simmer 1 hour.Chop mushrooms and sauté in butter. About 45 minutes after chicken has been cooking add mushrooms to chicken.Chop the rest of the tarragon leaves; mix with cream and 1 tbs lemon juice. When hour over pour cream mixture over chicken and continue cooking 7 to 8 minutes.

 Colonial Indian curried meat, poultry, rabbit, fish, vegetables for 6 by Anne

Success in curry making depends on the blending of all the flavors during the long, slow cooking process so that none of them predominates in the final result.  A curry is therefore not a dish to make when you are in a hurry!


  • 1 to 1.5 kg lean meat in pieces, or similar weight of jointed poultry/rabbit/fish/veg
  • 3 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 2 teasp Indian curry powder (most spice sellers)
  • 1 oz. flour
  • I pint stock
  • 1 cooking apple (difficult in France:  ask at markets, since a real cooker is sour and quick to soften into pulp)
  • one-half teaspoon of Indian curry paste (from exotic food counters or shops – hot or mild according to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon of spicy fruit chutney (homemade or from same sources as curry paste)
  • 2 oz sultanas
  • 2 large, juicy tomatoes or – preferably – 1 tin of peeled, whole tomatoes with juice
  • a good squeeze of lemon juice, salt/pepper/garlic to taste
  • one large, heavy cooking pot




  • Dry the pieces of meat/poultry or whatever you’ve chosen to curry, then fry in the oil until slightly browned.  Remove to a side dish.
  • Fry the onions and remove from pot
  • Add a bit more oil if needed, and fry the curry powder and flour together stirring regularly to prevent sticking, until the meat is really tender.  After about an hour, leave the pot to marinate overnight and then re-heat and continue the next day.  (Note:  fish and vegetables will probably require less time).
  • Check for flavour and if necessary, add more stock, chutney, currants, fried curry paste, lemon juice etc to YOUR taste (curry is a very ‘personal’ dish…)
  • Serve with long-grain, non-sticky basmati-type rice
  • Mango chutney (most groceries and supermarkets) makes a pleasant, fruity addition on the side – also raita Yoghurt mixed with finely chopped cucumber or raw onion, chopped mint and a little salt and pepper), which is refreshing and helps to ‘neutralise’ the hot spicyness of the curry


Note:  in order to curry pre-cooked meat, make the sauce as above, cooking for the full two hours, then add

The cooked meat etc. for a final 10 – 15 minutes. 





"Agathoise fishermen's stew” serves 6 by Peggy R:


This recipe was given to me by my mother in law, who received it from her mother-in-law, a sea captain's wife from Agde. She either got it from her own mother or from her mother in law whose husband had fishing boats there.



  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 to 2 onions, chopped
  • 1/3 cup lardons (not fumés)
  • 4 to 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 tomatoes, skinned, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 "knife-point" of cayenne pepper
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 turns of the pepper mill
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 5-inch strip of dried orange peel


  • 1 large monkfish or codfish fillets, approximately 600 -800 grams


  • (optional: 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • slices of baguette)


Cook the onions in olive oil for 5 minutes. Add lardons and cook for 4 minutes more (I precook mine in the microwave for a minute or so to get the major part of the fat out.)

Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes (covered.)

Add the remaining ingredients (except the fish) and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes


(May be done in advance to this point. Keep, covered, in fridge for several hours. Reheat before proceeding.)


Cut fish into serving-size pieces.  Add to the warm sauce and cook over low heat, one side and then the other for no more than 6 to 10 minutes in all.


For a thicker sauce, make an emulsion of the one egg yolk with 1/4 cup olive oil. Stir a spoonful of the hot sauce into this, and then return to the pan and cook and stir to mix well.


Remove bay leaf and orange peel. Garnish with slices of grilled baguette or baguette sautéed in olive oil.


Serve with rice.