Thursday, June 14, 2012

Braised Chicken Stew

I needed some comfort food today..
So I decided to make my Braised Chicken Stew recipe.
You'll need a few things..

From L to R: Chicken Broth, 1 medium white onion, garlic, 1 bag of baby carrots, 2 lbs of red roaster potatoes, boneless/skinless chicken thighs, canola oil, 1 can of cream of chicken soup, chicken bouillon cubes. Left out of picture: Herbs de Provence

First, take your favorite big ole stew pot and heat it on medium high with good drizzle of canola oil...enough to lightly cover the bottom of the pan. 

Then, season your chicken thighs with garlic salt  and they them in the hot pan.

Chicken is so ugly, isn't it?  The chicken needs to brown, so leave it be.  Don't move it around too much.... or put the lid on ....or go give yourself a pedicure.  Just stand there and let it brown away.  In the mean time, dice up your onion and garlic and cut your potatoes in half or quarters, depending on how big they are.

I like rustic food.  I don't peel my potatoes if I don't have to, and I like the, "skin on" in this recipe since it really has roots in the Tuscan way of cooking.
Your chicken should be looking like this by now..

When it's nice and brown, take it out of the pan and set it to the side..and please turn down the heat to medium, or you won't be a happy camper later.

Your pan should be looking really good about go ahead and add a tablespoon of butter and the onion..

Saute the onion for a few minutes until it's a little brown and then add your garlic.  Make sure you don't burn your garlic or it will get bitter..
Saute for a few more minutes until it all looks happy, like this..
Now, we de-glaze the pan.  I slowly poor a small amount of chicken broth into the pan and take a spatula and try to loosen those yummy brown bits off the bottom of the pan. You can also use wine for this if you would like, but chicken broth works just as well. Once the pan is pretty much clean of the brown stuff, add the rest of the can of Chicken Broth.

Next add your can of Cream of Chicken soup and your potatoes and carrots and mix it all together.
Now lay your chicken on top of everything..
and don't forget to add in all the juice from the plate!
Now add about two cups of water and two chicken bouillon cubes, but make sure you don't cover the chicken with the liquid- this is the "braised" part of the stew.
Then, I went out into my garden and picked a few sprigs of Rosemary, Thyme, Sage, and Lavender.  This combination is known as "Herbs de Provence".  Some people add a couple more herbs to the mix, but this is generally the main four that are used.  I tied them together to make a sachet and placed the whole bundle on top of the pot of goodness..

Now here is where it gets pretty versatile.  You can just pop the lid on and simmer at medium for a few hours on the stove top.  Since I have little munchkins running around, I usually opt to put it in the oven for about 3-4 hours at 250 degrees. ..but wait, there's more...I have also done all the prep up to this point in the morning and then placed it in the crock pot on low all day. All of these methods work great, just know that your house will smell glorious all day,'s absolutely wonderful. 

Just before serving, take the now hideously looking herb bundle out of the pot and serve up a big ole helping in a bowl and dig in..I think I would like some cornbread with mine, thank you very much.

It's divine.  Enjoy!

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