September 17, 2011
Stovetop Tomato Chicken Stew
Healthy, filling, and full of flavor, this meal cooks up on top of the stove in one pot. It's easy enough to be a quick weeknight meal but it's classy, too, and perfect for company because it doesn't require much attention while it simmers and cooks and teases you with its delicious aromas.
Change the spices to suit your own taste. Use some basil and oregano to give it an Italian flair and serve it topped with Italian cheeses. Give it more of a New Orleans spin with your favorite Creole seasoning. Or, use cumin, paprika, and some heat to give it a Mexican taste.
This time I seasoned mine simply with a bit of my "hot" spice... a variety of hot peppers, dehydrated and then ground. I rubbed the chicken pieces with a mixture of kosher salt, pepper, and "hot." Then I sprinkled more of those same seasonings and pushed a little sprig of fresh thyme into the dish as it was beginning to simmer on the stove. Usually I like to eat this with crusty bread or buttermilk biscuits. I like to push the bread down into the bowl to soak up every drop of that tasty sauce.STOVETOP TOMATO CHICKEN STEW
3-4 pounds, bone in, skin on, chicken parts
kosher salt, pepper, and a hot spice, (cayenne, chili, or chipolte powder, or red pepper flakes)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chicken broth
1 quart jar of tomatoes, undrained
1 cup tomato sauce
2 cups chopped carrots
2 cups chopped celery
2 cups sliced onion
several cloves garlic, roughly chopped
a pinch of sugar
1-2 bay leaves
fresh or dried thyme, to taste
more salt and pepper, and hot spice, to taste
Rub chicken with kosher salt, pepper, and a hot spice such as cayenne pepper, chili powder, or chipolte powder. Heat olive oil in large stock pot and brown chicken on all sides, then remove chicken and set aside. Add chicken broth to pot and scrape up browned bits from bottom of pan. Add canned tomatoes and tomato sauce. (I like to can some 8 ounce jars of tomato sauce and chicken broth because I seem to use "1 cup of tomato sauce" or "1 cup of chicken broth" in a lot of recipes.) Add chopped vegetables and garlic, pinch of sugar, bay leaves, and thyme. Place chicken back in pot, Push pieces of chicken down into liquid. Simmer on stove top for about an hour, until chicken is very tender and falling off the bone. Remove chicken and let sit until cool enough to handle. Pull meat from chicken and return meat to pot (or skip this step and just leave the pieces of chicken whole). Add more salt and pepper and hot spice, to taste. Serve with fresh crusty bread or buttermilk biscuits.