Chicken Stew to Warm the Soul

Soups and stews can be so incredibly effortless to make, yet I do not make nearly enough of them. This week I decided that I would use our leftover roasted chicken to create what I hoped would be a deliciously satisfying chicken stew, and to my delight, it really was!

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One of my dearest friends, who I met through her cooking class, taught us students the art of “mise en place”, which simply means to put into place (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/mise+en+place). One of the key things that has always helped me in the kitchen is to be organized. There’s nothing worse than to start preparing a meal only to realize you’re missing a key ingredient!

Once I had peeled and chopped the vegetables, I tossed them with olive oil and spices.

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Ready to do time in the oven!

I failed to get a photo of the stew as it was simmering, but once the vegetables were finished roasting, I added fresh oregano to the pan then transferred them to a large saucepan. I added the can of stewed tomatoes pictured above along with the last of our roasted chicken and stock. After I had roasted the chicken, I decided to save the pan juices because it was essentially a stock with all of the flavors concentrated, and I think it really enhanced our stew.

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An up close and personal photo. 😉

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I served mine with half of an Old Mill Bread Co. Montana sourdough roll. I had eaten the other half with a Babybel cheese after I returned home from the Y. It was a busy day between work, exercise, preparing this meal, and cleaning, but I am a firm believer in providing a home cooked meal. It just goes to show that many of us are not too busy to focus on eating a healthful diet!

I am including my recipe below, but treat it as a guide in which you can play around with it by adding your own spin. I hope you enjoy!

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

3 large carrots, peeled and slice into rounds

3 large parsnips, peeled and slice into rounds or smaller pieces

1 onion, peeled and chopped

several cloves garlic, peeled and left whole

olive oil

spices: rosemary garlic salt, pepper medley, red pepper, thyme, paprika, turmeric

fresh oregano

1 28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes

1 baked chicken thigh, bone and skin removed then shredded

1/2-2/3 c chicken stock, lower sodium

sea salt and pepper

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350*. Roast the vegetables for approximately 35-45 minutes or until just tender and easily pierced with a fork. Add the oregano to the pan to wilt then transfer the vegetables to a large saucepan. Add the remaining ingredients, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Season to taste, and serve with crusty bread, dinner rolls, or corn bread to soak up every last drop of sauce!

*If you do not have leftovers from a whole baked chicken, feel free to purchase a rotisserie chicken from the deli. Alternatively, just freshly bake a chicken thigh bone-in with spices then remove the skin and shred for this recipe.

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