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Chicken Stew

The recipe this week is one I just tried last week and shared it with friends. Everyone loved it. It is so flavorful and falls in the category of "comfort food". I got this recipe from the Food Network and it is courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis who has her own cooking show. It’s a winner! I have altered it a bit to what you see below.

Chicken Stew

  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 stalks celery, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 carrots, peeled, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 onion, medium size, chopped
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can chopped tomatoes – I use the one with onion, green pepper and celery
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • one-half cup fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces (I used 1T. of the dried basil leaves)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • one-half teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 2 chicken breasts with ribs (about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds total)
  • 1 (15 oz) can organic kidney beans, drained – I used a can of drained butter beans

Heat the oil in a heavy 5 1/2 or 6 quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the celery, carrots, and onion. Sauté the vegetables until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the tomatoes with their juices, tomato sauce, chicken broth, basil, bay leaf and thyme. Add the chicken breasts; press to submerge.

Bring the cooking liquid to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently uncovered until the chicken is almost cooked through, turning the chicken breasts over and stirring the mixture occasionally, about 25 minutes. Using tongs transfer the chicken breasts to a work surface and cool for 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Add the kidney beans (or butter beans) to the pot and simmer until the liquid has reduced into a stew consistency, about 10 minutes.

Discard the skin and bones from the chicken breasts. Shred or cut the chicken into bite-size pieces. Return the chicken meat to the stew. Bring the stew just to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle the stew into serving bowls and serve with crusty bread.

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