October 9, 2010

Chicken Stew

One of the best things about fall is wanting to cook inside once again, and having the time to pull out some of my favorite soup and stew recipes. I love stew because you can add almost any ingredient and it will still turn out delicious. It's important with this recipe to use the freshest produce you can find.

As usual, I'm going to talk "pro-organic", especially with poultry. Organic chicken is definitely more expensive, but the tenderness and texture after cooking or braising is obvious. Organic is not only healthier, it tastes so much better than the typical "chicken mill" meat you get stuffed into a styrofoam package. I used only organic vegetables in this recipe as well, and there is a definite difference. Give it a try.

Another ingredient that really enhances the flavor of the stew is the addition of marsala wine. I like to have a small bottle on hand just for stews, and chicken marsala as well. Cooking sherry is an option, but the store brands are usually loaded with sodium. If you choose to use the cooking sherry, cut back on the salt when seasoning your dish.

Chicken Stew
serves 6-8

3 boneless chicken breasts
4 diced potatoes
1 medium onion, sliced thin
3 cloves minced garlic
2 cups halved grape or cherry tomatoes
1 small zucchini, quartered
6 basil leaves, torn
3 carrots, diced
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 pound fresh baby spinach
1 cup of beans (cannelli, cranberry, fava, black, etc. - if using canned,
rinse well with cold water)
1 and 1/2 cups organic vegetable broth
1/4 cup marsala wine (or cooking sherry)
sea salt/pepper
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
olive oil
optional: 1 cup cooked whole wheat farfalle

First, rinse the chicken with cold water, then pat dry with paper towels. In a shallow dish, add the whole wheat flour (you can use white if you'd like), then season with salt and pepper. Cut the chicken into small chunks, then dredge the pieces in the flour, coating well.
Heat about 3 tablespoons of oil into a deep pan, then quickly brown the chicken cubes.
Push the chicken to one side of the pan. Toss in the diced potatoes, tomatoes, onions and garlic. Saute until tender, about 4-5 minutes.
Add the basil, then season with salt and pepper.
Now add carrots, zucchini, and celery.  Saute everything on medium heat for about 3 minutes.
Add the spinach to the pan, then pour the vegetable broth and wine over the top.
Add the beans, then stir gently and cover.
(I have to show you my new pan...Half-price at Kohl's - comes with the glass lid! I absolutely love it.)
Simmer stew for 15-20 minutes.
And as if there weren't enough carbs with the potatoes, I added the cup of whole wheat pasta. It absorbs the broth and flavors of the vegetables really well, and makes it all the more comforting.


KATHY said...

Karen: you are the GREATEST....the stew sounds yum, yum and a recipe I will definately make---for WHO, I don't know, I guess just ME.....I also love the one for MAC and CHEESE!!! That one is NOT on Weight Watchers, however. Beans and Greens gets my vote too. You live your life so completely and with such love, you deserve the BEST of everything and especially good health!! Stay strong and happy and just keep "rockin on"...I plan to do the same. Love to you! Kathy

Anderburf said...

This sounds so good! I just got some Himalayan pink salt, HimalaSalt, from Sustainable Sourcing https://secure.sustainablesourcing.com and I think I'll try it out in this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

Libby said...

Yummmmm! I love it! Where do you find organic chicken though? I've always wanted to try it but can never seem to find it in the stores. How are you doing btw?

"Vanilla and Thyme" said...

Thanks everyone for your comments! I love reading your blogs as well- Libby, as for organic chicken, we have a wonderful grocery chain here called Wegmans, and they carry organic meats and dairy products. The alternative would be to check your local farmer's market. Just be sure it is labelled USDA organic. Enjoy the fall season! :)

blackbookkitchendiaries said...

this sounds so good. i really love your post:)

Chow and Chatter said...

oh great stew love the masala wine in here