Monday, June 21, 2010

Healthy Comfort Food: Chicken Stew

Awhile back, I happened across a recipe for "chicken stew proven├žal" in the Washington Post. It was based on a recipe from Runner's World, and was touted as a simple, flavorful recipe that runners could use as a nice post-run dinner to replenish their systems. After making it a few times (even though I'm not a runner anymore and will never be again), I have to say that this has become one of my goto recipes for a healthy dinner. It's also a great way to use up leftover vegetables. The one big difference I've done from the original recipe was that the original recipe called for red potatoes. I am not a big fan of potatoes, so I substituted a can of white beans instead. As written below, it makes about 6 servings. The recipe can also easily be halved, and extra portions freeze very well.

olive oil
approx. 1.5 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
2 small or 1 large onion, cut into thin wedges
2-3 stalks celery, cut into 1/2" pieces
2 carrots, cut into 1/2" pieces
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken broth
28 oz. canned diced tomatoes, with juices
2 cans white beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp Herbs de Provence, crushed
1/4 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper (or to taste)

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and cook, stirring frequently, until it is brown on all sides (5-7ish minutes).

Add the onion, garlic, carrots, and celery. Cook until onion is soft, about 5 minutes, stirring every couple minutes.

Add the broth, tomatoes, beans, and spices, stirring so it's all combined. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 45 minutes (so chicken is cooked through).

As I said in the intro, I sometimes use this recipe to use up leftover vegetables. If the vegetables are fresh/stand well to satueeing, I add them at the same time as the onions and celery (stuff like zucchini works well here). For frozen vegetables (like peas or cut green beans), I add them at the same time as the broth. Adding other vegetables might require adding additional broth and/or tomatoes, so just keep that in mind.