Perhaps the only thing that qualifies this as “French” is that it has Herbes de Provence in it, but let’s just use our imaginations, shall we?
If you’re anything like me, you’re trying to eat a bit more healthily in the new year. You’re also probably sick and tired of the cold and salads just aren’t cutting it when it’s -20 degrees outside.
This stew recipe is one that my mom makes, and I love it because it’s hearty and warm, but it’s also much lighter than beef stew or chili, and you can toss in whatever vegetables you have on hand.
French Chicken Stew
- Boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- Olive Oil
- White wine
- Chicken broth
- Herbes de Provence
- Diced tomoatoes (a small can, not the big honking one I have here)
- Can of white (or black) beans, drained
- Green beans
- Other vegetables as wanted
- Olive tapenade, for serving
- Crusty bread, for serving
- Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil over medium high in a large pot or dutch oven.
- Add the chicken thighs, sprinkle liberally with the Herbes de Provence (I got mine at Home Goods) and some salt, and cook until brown, brown, brown. You’ll think you’re browning them too much. You’ll worry about the bits that are sticking to the pot. Keep cooking. The brown bits that stick to the bottom are where all the good flavor is. When the meat is cooked through and has a nice brown color on the outside, remove the chicken and set aside. When it’s cooler, go through the chicken, remove the fatty parts, and cut/tear into smaller pieces.
- Turn the heat down to medium/medium low and add the chopped shallot and garlic. Sauté for a two minutes.
- Add the green beans and cook another minute or two, just to get them some good color and flavor. (You can also add the mushrooms here, but I prefer to roast mine in a 425 degree oven for 30 minutes or so.)
- Pour in half a cup (or so) of white wine, and use a spoon or whisk (I love my flat whisk here) to get all that flavor scraped off the bottom and sides of the pot. If the wine reduces too much, add a splash more. Then add in about 3.5 cups of stock.
- Add whatever other vegetables you might want (carrots, bell pepper, parsnip, squash), the can of tomatoes (I like to partially drain them), and the beans.
- Return the bite sized chicken (and any cooking juices) to the pot, and let the soup simmer for at least 20 minutes to meld all the flavors together.
- If you roasted the mushrooms, add them when dishing up the stew.
- To really put this over the top, put a spoonful of olive tapenade on the top of each bowlful. Serve with toasted and buttered bread.