By: Julie Miguel, Food Blogger
This time of year, I always crave warm and filling meals. A quick stew recipe is always really appealing to me because the days are short and we all want to be able to sit and enjoy a nice meal without spending too much time in the kitchen.
Here is one of my favourite stew recipes: Spicy Italian Chicken Stew. I used chicken because it’s a family favourite but feel free to use pork or beef if you prefer. This stew is not only hot and filling, but spicy too. I love a spicy meal in the cold months of the year because it gives you that extra warmth that your body craves. If you are sensitive to spice, you can simply reduce or eliminate the red chili flakes.
For this Spicy Italian Chicken Stew, I used LiberTerre Chicken Thighs. I use chicken thighs because they are more flavourful than the breast and they are also half the cost of chicken breasts at the moment. LiberTerre Chicken is always my first choice because their chicken is raised here in Canada without the use of antibiotics and free from added hormones and animal by–products. Most importantly, their chicken is always air-chilled so it tastes great every time!
This stew is made heartier with the addition of red kidney beans so you can be assured that it’s packed with protein packed! This stew is great for leftovers as well so be sure to keep that in mind. I prefer to make my stew a day ahead and then reheat it for the next day’s meal. Something magical happens to soups and stews when they sit overnight in the refrigerator. The flavours become smoother and richer!
Enjoy this one pot stew and be sure to serve it with some warm and crusty bread to soak up all of that flavourful stew from the bottom of your bowl!
Spicy Italian Chicken Stew
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 50 mins
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced into thin coins
2 small potatoes diced into ¼ inch pieces
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
½ tsp dried chili flakes (or more if you like spice.)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup dry red wine
14 1/2-ounce can chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
8 chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 pounds total), trimmed and cut into chunks
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Crusty bread for serving
Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. In a large heavy bottomed pot, heat the oil over medium heat until hot, but not smoking. Add the chicken pieces to the pot and cook until the chicken is browned and almost cooked through (about 5-7 minutes). Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Deglaze the pan with the red wine and use a wooden spoon to scrape any bits off the bottom of the pot. Let the wine simmer for 2 minutes. Add the chili flakes, and then the chopped onions, garlic, celery, carrots and potatoes to the pot and sauté the vegetables until the onion is translucent (about 5 minutes). Add the cooked chicken pieces back into the pot. Stir in the tomatoes and their juices, the tomato paste, chicken broth and then the herbs (basil, thyme and bay leaf).
Bring the stew back up to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently uncovered until the chicken is almost cooked through, stirring frequently, about 20 minutes. Discard the bay leaf and stir in the kidney beans to the pot and simmer until reduced slightly into a thick stew consistency (about 10 minutes). Ladle the stew into six bowls and serve hot with warm, crusty bread.
The perfect meal for those cold winter nights – enjoy!