I’d like to think I’d be craving ice cream by now, but with a nip still in the air, my go-to chicken stew recipe is on my mind. I love this stew at any time of year, especially when I’m hungry, but want a healthy option. This variation of Giada De Laurentiis’ Chicken Spezzatino is hearty, yet fresh and light at the same time. I recently shared the recipe with a friend and she gave it the thumbs up, so I thought you all might like it too.
While Giada uses split chicken breast on the bone (which I’ve done and it does add flavor) I opt for the easier alternative – boneless chicken breast and lots of it. I also prefer to use only white kidney beans (cannellini) vs. red. I think this adds to the lighter essence of the chicken stew which I favor. My final adaptation is that while the original recipe calls for ½ cup of fresh basil leaves. I load up with one, maybe even two cups. I just love the fresh basil taste and aroma.
Hear it goes…
Chicken Stew Recipe
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2-4 stalks celery, cut
- 2 carrot, peeled and cut
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 28oz. chopped, crushed or diced tomatoes
- 1 14.5oz. can low-salt vegetable broth
- 1-2 cup fresh basil leaves (I leave them whole)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 2-3 boneless chicken breast
- 1 can Cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- Salt and pepper to taste.
Warm oil in a pot. Add onion, celery and carrot until onions are translucent. Add salt, pepper and thyme.
Add chicken breast and brown slightly.
Add tomato and chicken broth. Press chicken to submerge and bring to a boil. Add tomato paste (I skip this if I don’t have any in) and bay leaf. Lower heat to a simmer. Allow chicken to cook through until tender and breaks apart relatively easily with a fork. Once cooked through, remove chicken to slightly cool.
Add cannellini beans and basil to the broth.
When chicken is cool enough to handle, break apart into bite size pieces and add back to the stew.
Let all of the ingredients in the chicken stew simmer together for 10 minutes. Take off burner and let sit for 15 minutes before serving. Remove bay leaf. Great with rice or crusty bread, but also perfectly filling on its own.