Best Chicken Stew

December 29, 2013

My favorite food at this time of year is stew, because of its depth of flavor, but also because it warms my kitchen and fills my home with wonderful aromas during the long cook time. I have always felt that Beef Stew has reigned supreme, as assumption recently confirmed by this disappointing Pork Stew that I made last month. So I was extremely surprised when today’s Chicken Stew turned out so rich and delicious. The collagen in the wings added great texture and richness, the bacon added depth and a meaty flavor. I recommend serve with rustic bread. Overall, a delicious, 4-1/2 stars, with perfect texture and meaty flavor.

Great stew from chicken thighs

Great stew from chicken thighs

Comments / Issues:

  1. The recipe says to cut each chicken thigh in half, but this leaves the chicken in chunks that are too big. So I had to eat my stew with a knife. I would recommend cutting into quarters, rather than halves in step 1.

Rating: 4-1/2 stars.
Cost: $9
How much work? Medium.
How big of a mess?  Medium.
Start time 4:00 PM. Ready at: 6:30 PM.

Chris Kimball’s original recipe is here. The descriptions of how I prepared the recipe today are given below:

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Kosher salt and pepper
3 slices bacon, chopped
1 pound chicken wings, halved at joint
1 onion, chopped fine
1 celery rib, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons anchovy paste
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
5 cups chicken broth
1 cup dry white wine, plus 2 tablespoons for seasoning
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 pound small red potatoes
4 carrots
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

  1. Set a rack to lower-middle of your oven and preheat to 325-degrees. Trim away any excess fat from chicken thighs, and cut in half crosswise. Lay thighs out onto a baking sheet and lightly sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and set thighs aside.
  2. Chop bacon into pieces and cook in large Dutch oven over medium-low burner for 6 to 8 minutes, stir occasionally. When the bacon has browned, use a slotted spoon to remove bacon to a medium bowl. While the bacon cooks, cut your wings at the joints, chop the onion fine and mince the celery.
  3. Increase burner to medium, add wings to your Dutch oven, and cook for 10 to 12 minutes flipping half way through cooking. After both sides are well-browned. move wings to bowl with browned bacon. While the wings brown, chop onion, celery, peel garlic cloves and mince thyme.
  4. Add onion, celery, garlic, anchovy paste, and thyme to fat in pot. Saute, still over medium burner, for 2 to 4 minutes until a dark fond forms.
  5. Increase burner to high, and use 1 cup broth, 1 cup wine, and 1 tablespoon soy sauce to deglaze the pan. Bring the liquid up to a boil, and continue to boil until the liquid evaporates; stirring occasionally for about 12 to 15 minutes.
  6. Add butter to the pot. After melting, spread flour evenly and stir until combined. Little by little, whisk in 4 cups chicken broth until it becomes smooth.
  7. Add wings, bacon, potatoes, carrots, and bring up to a simmer.
  8. Put in oven and bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes; stirring once after 15 minutes. Meanwhile, cut the unpeeled potatoes into quarters, and peel the carrots and cut into 1/2″ pieces.
  9. Remove Dutch oven from oven and place over high burner, and use a wooden spoon to moisten the brown ring around the top of the stew, and scrape browned ring to combine with stew.  Add thighs to pot, bring up to a simmer, and return to oven to continue to cook, uncovered, for 45 minutes more. Use a fork to ensure that the chicken offers no resistance and the vegetables tender. While the stew cooks, chop your 2 tablespoons of parsley.
  10. Fish out and discard chicken wings, and add 2 tablespoons wine. Adjust salt and pepper according to your taste, and sprinkle with parsley before serving.
Scrape down that ring of fond

Scrape down that ring of fond

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