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If you are short on time or energy there is nothing like a one pot meal for dinner.  Even better, they are often great recipes to double and freeze.  I’m taking on a new project so my free time is at an even greater minimum, and I was searching the Food Network website for some ideas.  I came across a simple recipe from Giada De Laurentis that only calls for one pot and no extraordinary ingredients.  I omitted a couple of the ingredients from the original recipe, but will post a link to the original recipe at the end.

Chicken Stew

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 stalks celery, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 carrot, peeled, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 (14-ounce) can low-salt chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup fresh Basil leaves, torn into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 skinless chicken breasts with ribs (about 1 1/2 pounds total)

Directions

Heat the oil in a heavy 5 1/2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the celery, carrot, and onion. Saute the vegetables until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in the tomatoes with their juices, chicken broth, basil, tomato paste, bay leaf, thyme and red pepper flakes if you want a little spice. 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 35 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the chicken breasts to a work surface and cool for 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Simmer until the liquid has reduced into a stew consistency, about 10 minutes.

Discard 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.

This is a versatile, and it would be easy to make variations.  For example, you could omit the basil and add cumin, coriander and fresh corn for a Southwestern spin on it.

Here is the link to the original recipe:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/chicken-stew-recipe/index.html

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