Early in the day yesterday, I was contemplating what to make for dinner. Not wanting to leave the house for fear of missing out on the first bit of actual sunshine in quite a while, I checked the freezer for possibilities and found a Ziplock Bag with some chicken in it. You can always find something to do with chicken! I had also seen a bag of home fries while I was digging, so potatoes made me think of stew. I have never made (or had) a Chicken Stew before, so I figured I'd give it a shot.
I wanted to leave the kitchen door open so the dog could come and go as she pleased, but a squirrel kept wanting to come in the house to see what I was cooking, so I had to shut it! Guess he thought it smelled as good as I did. ;)
2 T olive oil
2 carrots, sliced (I used a few handfuls of baby cut carrots)
2 cloves of garlic, minced or smashed
1 onion, diced
salt and pepper
1/2 t granulated dried ancho chilies *
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
2 T tomato paste
8.5 oz can artichoke hearts, rough chopped
1 t dried thyme
1/2 t dried oregano
2 bay leaves
16 oz carton chicken broth
15 oz can chick peas, drained and rinsed
1 T butter
1 T flour
Saute your garlic, onions, carrots, and ancho chilies in the olive oil, seasoning with a little salt and pepper, until the onions are translucent.
Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and bay leaves, and let it cook for a few minutes to concentrate.
Next add your thyme, oregano, and artichoke hearts, stirring to incorporate.
Add the chicken broth and nestle your chicken down in there, letting it simmer for 20-25" until cooked through. When I pulled the chicken out of the freezer, I assumed it was a couple of chicken breast havles, but it actually turned out to be chicken tenders. Oops! Hope someone else didn't have a particular use in mind for those. My bad.
When the chicken is cooked through, pull it out of the hot tub to take a little rest and let all of its juices settle. While that's going on, you can turn up the heat under your veggies and make a roux to thicken and enrich your sauce.
In a separate small pan or pot, whisk the butter and flour over medium high until it starts to get some nice color on it, then spoon in some of your stew broth and whisk to incorporate. You want to loosen it up so you can pour it into your pot and it will incorporate well.
Once the roux has been added to the pot, let it boil for a few minutes to cook down and thicken, while you cut or tear your chicken into bite-sized pieces. I prefer to tear my chicken so it looks more rustic and less like something that might have come out of a can.
Add the chick peas to the mix, letting them cook for a few minutes to soften. I was originally thinking of using some of the home fries I found in the freezer but changed my mind and used the chick peas instead.
Lower the heat and add the chicken back to the pot, just long enough to heat through, then spoon up a bowl or mug with a nice crusty loaf of bread.
I will definitely be making this dish again. As for the chilies, I knew that they were on the mild end of the spectrum, but I added what looked like a good amount. You can see them in that first shot with the carrots and onions - what, you thought I had burned something?! Pshaw! Anyhow, the amount noted is great for those who are somewhat sensitive to heat. For those of us who like things "kicked up," the heat from these particular chilies seemed to build, so by the time I was finished eating, my lips were a tad tingly. It was really good when soaking up the gravy with bread at the end, but I will add more next time. I enjoyed the flavor but would have preferred more "heat."
* NOTE: The chilies were part of a sample package provided to me by the folks at Marx Foods. This is not a monetized site, so I am not paid for promote products of any kind, and my opinions are my own. I'm just lucky enough to score some freebies to play with from time to time.