Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Creamy Chicken Stew

How do you do, Chicken Stew? When you’re creamy, you’re quite dreamy! This inexpensive comfort food is exactly what anyone in the Northern Hemisphere needs on a cold November day! At last weeks’s party for the FFFF (see my post of Nov. 4, 2012), I served the Creamy Chicken Stew that appears below. Tossed into a slow cooker, it practically makes itself!

Tip: Served over pasta with an added can of condensed cream of mushroom soup, the leftovers of this wonderful stew taste completely different the next day!

This recipe requires a slow cooker

Creamy Chicken Stew:

2-½ lb. (just over 1 kg) boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
Salt and coarsely ground pepper, to taste
¼ c. olive oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
4-to-5 tbsp. cornstarch
4 c. chicken broth
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-in. chunks
2 stalks celery, cut into 1-in. chunks
½ c. quartered mushrooms
2 tsp. dried, crumbled rosemary
4 small bay leaves
Additional cornstarch, as needed
1 c. dairy sour cream
3 green onions (“spring” onions), sliced thinly
1-¼ c. frozen green peas

Chop chicken into 1-inch pieces. Season to taste. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté chicken in three separate batches, turning often to brown well. Transfer chicken to small bowl and set aside, being sure not to drain chicken fat and juices from bowl or from skillet. When chicken pieces have cooked, stir onion into skillet, sautéing until browned. Add garlic, cooking just until soft. Whisk cornstarch into chicken broth. Pour into skillet, continuing to whisk until sauce mixture thickens. Add prepared vegetables, rosemary, and bay leaves, stirring just until heated through.

Transfer all including chicken, fat, and juices to slow cooker or “crock pot.” Set cooker to “high” and cook 4 hr., stirring occasionally. Test thickness of sauce about 30 min. before stew finishes cooking. If too thin, strain off some of the broth, cooling in refrigerator before whisking in additional cornstarch. Return cornstarch solution to stew, straining through sieve to remove as many small lumps of cornstarch as possible

Combine dairy sour cream and green onions, stirring into stew in final 15 min. As stew returns to the simmer, stir in frozen peas just until heated through. Serve at once. Yields 6-to-8 servings.

Heat olive oil in large skillet

Chop chilled chicken into large chunks

Cook chicken in batches until browned so oil remains hot

Cook onions until golden brown before adding garlic

Add veggies until heated through:
Transfer from skillet to slow cooker

Transfer to slow cooker and set for 4 hr.
(Not 6 hr., as my yet-to-be-set slow cooker reads!)

Add reserved sour cream and green onions.
Add frozen peas just at the end.

Serve at the table or buffet-style, as I did

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