The fresh herbs in my front yard are growing abundantly at this time of year, and that inspires me to incorporate them into more meals. This recipe for Herbed Chicken and Vegetable Stew has a flavorful broth from fresh rosemary, thyme, and oregano plus dried bay leaf and basil. The herbs marry nicely with the classic French mirepoix (the fancy-schmancy word for the combination of onion, celery, and carrots), and I've rounded it all out with the addition of tomatoes and potatoes to make this stew into a one-pot-meal.
This stew is delicious on its own, or even with a scoop of nutrient-dense white rice added in. If you're going low-carb or starch-free, you could certainly leave out the potatoes and just increase the other veggies proportionately.
Herbed Chicken and Vegetable Stew
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
1 large onion, chopped
2 Tb butter
4 celery stalks, chopped
5 carrots, chopped
3 medium cloves of garlic, minced
3 cups filtered water
1 cup diced tomatoes (I prefer Jovial brand for their glass jars instead of metal cans)
2 tsp dried basil (or 2 Tb fresh minced basil)
1 bay leaf
3/4 tsp fresh minced rosemary (or substitute 1/4 tsp dried rosemary)
3/4 tsp fresh minced oregano (or substitute 1/4 tsp dried oregano)
3/4 tsp fresh minced thyme (or substitute 1/4 tsp dried thyme)
3 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs, preferably organic or non-GMO
2 medium-large Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed well and chopped
1 Tb Celtic sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Optional: nutrient-dense white rice
Chop the onion, celery, and carrots. I always use my favorite Wusthof knife for chopping soup veggies.
Melt the butter in a 4-quart (or larger) pot over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion, carrots, and celery plus a sprinkle of salt. Saute for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. A bamboo spatula works great for this step. It is fine if the vegetables take on a bit of browned, caramelized color.
In the meantime, mince the garlic and fresh herbs.
Stir the garlic into the pot and cook just until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add the tomatoes and water to the pot. Season with salt and pepper. I use about 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper and 1 Tb of salt. Stir in the basil, bay leaf, rosemary, oregano, and thyme. Nestle the chicken thighs down into the liquid and bring to a low boil.
Skim off and discard any foam that rises to the top of the stew. Then reduce the heat to maintain a low simmer.
Simmer for 35 minutes, until the chicken thighs are cooked through.
In the meantime, scrub and chop the potatoes. Cook the (optional) nutrient-dense white rice in a separate pot.
Remove the chicken thighs from the pot and place in a large bowl to cool.
Add the potatoes to the stew pot. Taste the broth and adjust the salt/pepper as desired. Cook for about 15 minutes, until the potatoes are fork-tender.
In the meantime, once the chicken has cooled long enough to handle easily, remove and discard most of the chicken skin. If you like boiled chicken skin, leave the skin on by all means. But I prefer to get rid of most of the skin at this point. (The dog is happy with my decision since it means he gets to eat the chicken skin.)
Use a fork or your hands to remove the chicken from the bones. (I save and freeze the chicken thigh bones until I have accumulated enough of them to make a pot of homemade chicken bone broth.) Chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
Add the chicken back to the pot and cook just long enough to warm it through.
Serve and enjoy! If desired, add a generous scoop of nutrient-dense white rice to each bowl.
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