Merciful God, You are great in compassion and Your tenderness for us is without measure. We ask You to give us today our daily bread, and also provide for the needs of all of Your hungry children around the world. Through Christ Your Son and Our Lord. Amen.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Belly-Warming (and Heart Healthy) Chicken Stew

This week I had Turkey Stew on my menu, a recipe I found at Simply Recipes. I intended to make it with a turkey tenderloin, which I thought were on sale at Giant Eagle. But, when I got to the store, I saw that the only tenderloins that were on sale were the flavored ones. Bleh. They are loaded with salt and sometimes sugar and I wouldn't take one if they were free. Honestly. So, I changed my plan and decided to make a Chicken Stew with the bone-in chicken breasts that were on sale.

I'm glad I changed my plan because this stew was delicious, low in fat, and I don't think I'd make it any different. I altered the recipe a little bit because I had bread baking in the oven at 400 degrees F and the stew was supposed to cook at 300 degrees. I normally make stew on top of the stove, however, so I just left it on the stovetop. The recipe below reflects my changes both in ingredients and technique. The original recipe can be found here.

I couldn't have picked a better day to prepare this meal. The snow was whipping by my kitchen window, but inside I was warm and toasty and totally enjoying the smell of my bubbly Chicken Stew.

PS All my kids ate this stew and my teenager came back for thirds.

We all ended up eating it like little kids -- mashing all the vegetables in the broth in the bottom of the bowl.

Belly-Warming Chicken Stew
Serves 6 to 8

2 T. olive oil
3 bone-in chicken breasts, skin intact
1 medium-large yellow onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
1 quart vegetable stock
2 medium carrots, peeled, 1/4 inch slices
2-3 medium turnips, peeled, 1/2 inch cubes
3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered (I used Idaho)
1/4 t. dried thyme
1/4 t. dried basil
1/4 t. dried tarragon
salt and black pepper

Heat olive oil on medium high heat in a Dutch oven on the stove top.
Wash and pat dry chicken breasts. Sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides.
Place chicken pieces, skin side down, in oil and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side.

If your pot is not large enough for pieces to lie flat, you may need to brown in batches. In the last 3 minutes of browning of the last batch, add the onions and celery.

Add the stock. Bring to a simmer, lower heat, cover and simmer gently for about 45 minutes, until chicken is done.

When chicken is done, add the rest of the vegetables, and the herbs. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a gentle simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes until vegetables are almost fork tender.
Remove chicken pieces and pull meat from the bones. Break meat into large pieces -- not bite-size.

Return meat to pot and cook, uncovered, until vegetables are very tender, but not mushy (no al dente in this recipe -- you want them nice and soft).

Season to taste with salt and pepper.


Anonymous said...

I made this tonight, Barbara, and it was wonderful! The kids especially liked it, & I also found bone-in chicken breasts on sale at the store. Thanks for a great recipe.

scmom (Barbara) said...

So glad you enjoyed it. It's a really good basic recipe and could be varied by adding different herbs, or different veggies.