This chicken stew is such a favorite for me that I daydream about it, making it frequently, just a bit different each time. No matter how much I make of this, it is always gone within 24 hours. Neighbors and friends can smell this stew simmering invitingly from the sidewalk outside!
Succulent Chicken Stew
- 2-½ lbs. chicken pieces, bone-in, skin-on: thighs, drumsticks and breasts (breasts cut in half, vertically)
- 12 cloves of garlic
- 2 dozen small Mediterranean or Nicoise olives, fewer if large
- 2 – 14 oz. cans of fire-roasted tomatoes, crushed
- 2-½ cups chicken stock (homemade is best)
- 2-3 Tbsp. of tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp. rosemary, chopped fine
- 1 Tbsp. thyme, chopped fine
- 2 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped fine
- 3 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped fine
- 2 Tbsp. fresh chives, chopped fine (Change up the herbs, depending on what you have on hand. Switch out the rosemary and thyme for tarragon, oregano, or any green herb that you love!)
- Bacon fat from 1 package sautéed bacon, or other high heat cooking oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Salt and pepper the chicken very well, making sure all surfaces are covered. Do the chicken in small batches, so you don’t crowd the pan, making sure the chicken is nicely browned. I always brown mine in bacon fat, but use your preferred oil. It takes about three minutes a side on medium high heat on the stove. It may take more or less time, but don’t flip them until browned. Make sure to use a pan that can go from stovetop to oven, like an enamel Dutch oven. When your last batch is on its final side, throw in the garlic and continue to cook until browned. Remove the chicken and the garlic and set aside. Gently wipe the pan out to remove the dirty oil, but don’t wash it. Return chicken to pan.
Make enough sauce to cover the chicken by blending the canned tomatoes, warmed chicken stock, and tomato paste. If this does not cover the chicken, then make more sauce by adding equal parts tomatoes to chicken stock. My freezer is a treasure trove which often has a pint of oven roasted or oven dried tomatoes, preserved at the peak of summer. This is a great chance to pull those out and blend into the sauce. Cover the chicken with the sauce, and add two dozen small Mediterranean or Nicoise olives, fewer if they are large.
Bake covered for an hour, remove, and stir a bit; throw in handfuls of chopped herbs, then return to oven, uncovered, for 45 minutes. This recipe serves four, so I always double it as the aroma seems to draw guests to my table.
A little more…
It’s lovely served with any potato, vegetable, or a salad, and is even succulent left over: simply reheat in a 200-degree oven, in the sauce until just warm, about 20 minutes.
This recipe is Paleo and Whole30.