Today was our first snow storm in New York City. They have been predicting this storm all week and finally it’s here. By the time the storm is over we should have 20- 30 inches. Not my favorite weather. I’d rather be on a tropical beach, but, another time. It is freezing, winds of 60 miles per hour and travel bans so there is no where to go. It’s a perfect day to wear your comfy clothes, put on a good movie or movies, read a book and make a warm and comforting chicken vegetable stew.
This is rather quick to prepare, makes the house smell inviting and tastes delicious! Plus, it’s a great way to get your veggies and protein into your meal. If you happen to have any leftovers, even better the following day. That is the great benefit of a stew, once you allow them to sit all of the flavors just get enhanced. Serve this wonderful, hearty stew with some good bread and a nice glass of white wine (or 2).
For this recipe I used organic chicken thighs with skin but if you do not like dark meat you may substitute with organic chicken breast with the rib bone and skin. No cooking time adjustments needed. You can also omit purchasing the chicken with skin if you prefer. The skin just adds extra flavor which you discard after cooking. But that is the great thing about cooking, you can make so many different adjustments. Either way, I assure you you will have a wonderful meal to eat and share. And as always, Enjoy!
Chicken Vegetable Winter Stew
Ingredients: Serves 4-6
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 stalks celery, cut into bite size pieces
- 2 carrots, peeled, cut into bite size pieces
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 cups butternut squash, peeled, cut into bite size pieces
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to season
- 2 cups low salt chicken stock
- 14 ounces diced tomatoes with their liquid
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1 ½ pounds chicken thighs with skin
- 1 red potato, cleaned, not peeled, cut into bite size pieces
- Crusty bread for serving with stew
Heat the oil in a heavy 5 1/2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the celery, carrot, onion, garlic and butternut squash.. Sauté the vegetables until the onions are translucent, about 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the tomatoes with their juices, chicken broth, tomato paste, bay leaf, and thyme. Stir to dissolve the tomato paste in the liquid. Add the chicken thighs; pressing them in to submerge.
Bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to 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 carefully transfer the chicken thighs to a cutting board and remove the skin. By using a knife and fork you can shred the meat right off the bone and cut into bite size pieces. Discard the bay leaf. Add the chicken meat back into the stew. Add the red potatoes to the pot and simmer until the liquid has reduced into a stew consistency and the potatoes have cooked, about 10 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Ladle and serve in a soup bowl with some bread on the side.
Note: You may substitute chicken breasts for the thighs and cook the same way.