Chicagolandia
How many people out there associate chicken noodle soup with being sick? I do. Glad I'm not alone in that, truth be told. I was never a big fan of the thin, watery soup, the typically overcooked noodles, and the rare pieces of chicken you might find, if you're really, really lucky.

With my current distaste for standard chicken noodle soup noted, I've decided to try my hand at a new recipe: chicken stew. I have rummaged through the pantry/fridge and have some up with enough veggies to make a basic chicken stew - not to mention I have some $.59 lb. chicken leg quarters that need to be cooked, and I've already done my favorite recipe, Easy Garlic Chicken, once this week.

I love a good soup or stew, but many restaurants don't cook them long enough to really develop the flavors, so with my latest creation, I'm trying to allow more than enough time for the flavors to really come together. And, if I get brave enough, I'll head over to the Elgin Fresh Market and grab some pork stew meat that's on sale this weekend and try a pork stew next week. Or a new twist on pork stirfry, or maybe even pork al pastor. Well, I shouldn't get ahead of myself just yet. Finish one project at a time...

I know stew is more of a wintery dish, but when you have someone at home with a summer cold - desparate times call for desparate measures. Two someone's, actually. DH and myself. Not that I can blame him, it was me that brought the cold home. The two great things about making stew in the summer: veggies are in season, which makes them much cheaper and you can make it in the crockpot, versus slaving over a hot stove. The only bad thing: being sick in the summer. Yech!

I tried to keep in mind the flavors I love in a good stew, while reminiscing over the lovely, hearty, rich chicken stew at Sweet Tomatoes. That place is a huge weakness of mine. Soup, salad, and homemade bread all in one spot. It's dangerous, very, very dangerous. On Mondays, when they have cream of mushroom soup - I'm a total goner. Seriously! My only consolation is going through the salad bar before loading up on bread and soup.

Chicken Stew

2 lbs. chicken leg quarters, skin removed
6 C. chicken broth (made with bouillion)
2-3 T. corn starch
2-3 T. margarine or butter
4 cloves of garlic, crushed/minced
1 medium onion (any variety)
1/2 medium red bell pepper
2-3 C. cooked carrots
1 rib of celery
2 large cooked potatoes, peeled
* 1 C. canned/frozen peas
* 1 small zucchini
* 8 oz. mushrooms, fresh any variety
2 T. basil
2 tsp. black pepper
3 bay leaves
* 1 tsp. rosemary or thyme

In a crockpot, add chicken and broth and cook over low for 6-10 hours, or until chicken falls off the bone.

In a large skillet, melt margarine and whisk in cornstarch. Over a medium-low heat, drain broth into skillet, whisking as its added. Mixture will thicken slightly. Return liquid to crockpot, de-bone chicken, and return meat to crockpot.

For a thicker broth, finely dice all veggies, for a hearty (chunkier) stew, rough chop all veggies. Add to crockpot. Add in seasonings, stir and cook over low for 4-8 hours.

Remove bay leaves before serving.

Yield = 12 servings.
* = optional ingredients
1 Response
  1. Precious Says:

    OMG! I have to try this next time DH and I don't feel well. YUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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