Jon and Cati did a petite sirah tasting last night followed by dinner. I brought a chicken-squash stew (from Big Flavors), served in a pumpkin, and a big pan of cornbread. For the stew, which ended up really nice, recipe deviations were:
- I used chicken thighs instead of a cut up whole chicken. I boned the thighs and diced the meat after it was finished cooking so that the stew was easier to eat.
- I used self-canned tomatoes instead of fresh ones.
- I replace 1 Tbs of the cayenne with 1 tsp of smoked paprika; I thought the flavor of the paprika would work well and I didn't want to blow peoples' heads off too quickly.
- I didn't add the lemon juice to the stew, but put it in a pitcher on the table for people to add on their own. I was afraid that the lemon would not go well with the wine, so I wanted to offer people the choice.