31 January 2014

recipe: hearty, healthy italian chicken stew

I have something delicious for you. A healthy, hearty stew that is husband approved and takes about ten minutes to prep and you're going to love it.  The best part is that you can adjust it to your liking. Want to go vegetarian? Leave out the chicken and add in some quinoa. Are your picky little people against all forms of potato apart from french fries? Sub in some pasta. This really is an easy, tasty, versatile meal that will please just about any palate. 

Start by chopping up your vegetables: onion, celery, carrot and potatoes.

Saute the first three in two tablespoons of olive oil for about five minutes, until they start to soften.

Add in your tomatoes, water, chicken, potatoes and spices and let it simmer for about 45 minutes.

Throw in a good healthy handful of fresh basil, which I think makes the dish, along with a can of kidney beans and let it simmer about ten minutes more.

Dish it up, sprinkle with parmesan, and dig in! Serve it with some crusty bread and butter and you have a simple, delicious, perfect meal. 

Hearty Italian Chicken Stew
serves 6

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
2 cups peeled and chopped russet potatoes (about 3 medium potatoes)
2 cups boneless skinless chicken breast cut into bite size pieces (about three small breasts)
1 28oz can stewed plum tomatoes
2 cups water
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons ground thyme
salt and pepper
3/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 15oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
6 tablespoons grated parmesan, divided

Heat your olive oil in a stockpot and add in the onion, carrots and celery. Saute until just tender, about five minutes. Add in the tomatoes, potatoes, water, tomato paste, bay leaves, thyme, salt, pepper and chicken. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for about 45 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and potatoes are soft. Add in chopped basil and kidney beans, cover, and continue to simmer for ten minutes to incorporate all the flavors.
Dish into serving bowls and top with parmesan. 

Serve with warm crusty bread and butter, and nice green salad, and enjoy!

each serving contains: 298 calories // 8 grams of fat // 22 grams of protein