Weeknight Who? Giada’s Chicken Stew

Wow! It has been a long time since I blogged. I started a new job at Irrive (create your own social scrapbook for life’s adventures!) and have been a bit busy.

Plus, I definitely got into a cooking rut — was feeling uninspired. Then, summer came and we did a lot of very simple grilling.  Nothing that exciting to blog about.

But as a crispness returns to the air and fall approaches, I’m excited to make stews and soups and heartier fare! On the eve of Charlotte’s first day of preschool, I made Giada’s delicious chicken stew. The ingredients are super simple, but come together beautifully. Even Charlotte liked it (or at least the beans and tomatoes).

I used Italian seasoning instead of basil, thyme, and a bay leaf, but otherwise followed the recipe as written.

Have some crusty bread on hand and don’t forget it tastes even better the next day!

Chicken Stew
Giada de Laurentiis

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 stalks celery, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 carrot, peeled, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 (14-ounce) can low-salt chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 2 chicken breast with ribs (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can organic kidney beans, drained (rinsed if not organic)

Heat the oil in a heavy 5 1/2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the celery, carrot, and onion. Saute the vegetables until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in the tomatoes with their juices, chicken broth, basil, tomato paste, bay leaf, and thyme. Add the chicken breasts; press to submerge.

Bring the cooking liquid to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently uncovered until the chicken is almost cooked through, turning the chicken breasts over and stirring the mixture occasionally, about 25 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the chicken breasts to a work surface and cool for 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Add the kidney beans to the pot and simmer until the liquid has reduced into a stew consistency, about 10 minutes.

Discard the skin and bones from the chicken breasts. Shred or cut the chicken into bite- size pieces. Return the chicken meat to the stew. Bring the stew just to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Ladle the stew into serving bowls and serve with the bread.

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