Monday, September 29, 2008

Chicken & White Bean Stew

We bought some chicken thighs on sale last week & I got it into my head that I wanted to make some sort of stew using them with white beans. When I told Matt my idea he was very skeptical, he didn't feel like chicken was something that should be stewed in beans. I, on the other hand, thought the heartier flavor of the thighs would stand up well to stewing. Let me just say that this dish made Matt take back all his doubts.
Chicken & White Bean Stew
I started with this recipe from Blue Kitchen. Not only did I change the cut of chicken from boneless breasts to thighs but I also added fennel & spinach (ok, the spinach was Matt's idea). The final product was rich & flavorful, a wonderful cold weather one pot meal. I want to imagine with its flavors of thyme & fennel that this is what I'd eat in Provence during winter (sure I've never been there but a girl can dream). The only thing we would change next time, and there will be a next time, is we'd add more carrots which I've noted in the recipe.

Chicken & White Bean Stew

4 slices of bacon, chopped
4 chicken thighs, on the bone with the skin removed
4 - 6 small carrots, sliced into 1/2-inch slices
1 medium onion, chopped
1 fennel bulb, chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
leaves from 4 sprigs of thyme, chopped
2/3 c white wine
1 c chicken broth
2 cans white beans, drained & rinsed
3 c spinach, large stems removed & roughly torn

Cook the bacon in a large soup pot over medium heat until crisp. Remove to a paper towel to drain.

Salt & pepper the chicken thighs on both sides & add to the pot with the bacon fat. Cook for 10 minutes turning over halfway through. Remove the chicken to a plate & set aside.
Browning the Chicken
Add the carrots to the pot & cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the onions & fennel & cook another 5 minutes. Next add the garlic & thyme cook briefly, about a minute.

Add the wine & broth, scrapping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add 2/3 of the beans. Using a fork, roughly mash the other 1/3 of the beans & add then as well. Bring to a boil.

Return the chicken & bacon to the pot. Turn down the heat, cover & simmer for 25 minutes. Remove the cover & stir in the spinach. Cook until the spinach is wilted. Check seasoning & add salt & pepper as needed. Serve with crusty bread in a shallow bowl.

4 servings


Stacey Snacks said...

I love using the Le Creuset pot for braising my thighs (chicken, that is!). I will make this on a cold night.....very comforting!

Deborah said...

I think chicken and beans sound delicious together! And this looks like a big bowl of comfort!

Peter M said...

Kat, thighs are the best (for chicken too)! lol

I big bowl of this, a biscuit...all good!

Alicia Foodycat said...

Oh yes - it would have to be thighs! And I am pleased Matt had to accept that this is a great dish! Yum.

Terry at Blue Kitchen said...

Kat—Thanks for your interesting take on my chicken dish—and for giving Blue Kitchen a link. Chicken thighs are always a good call, nice and juicy and flavorful. I like the addition of the spinach and fennel bulb too. It's a cool, rainy day here in Chicago. This dish would perfect for it.

eatingclubvancouver_js said...

You know what's weird? Everytime I have it in my head to make a stew or a soup, weather here turns all hot and sunny. I'm filing this one right now because we're supposed to get sun for the week.

This is great: sometimes there's nothing better than a chicken stew. Haven't had one for a long time. Is it bad now that I'm wishing for colder weather?

Anonymous said...

Nice recipe!

The thighs are my favourite bit too :)

grace said...

sounds like a fabulous idea to me, and i'm glad it turned out well. if i'm ever in provence in the winter (fat chance), i'll think of you. :)

Elle said...

I love that recipe from Blue Kitchen! And the changes you've made look wonderful. I also love fennel! It gets roasted along with carrots and onions every time we have roast chicken. And borrowing a page from your book, I'm using the leftover chicken and veggies in a pot pie for dinner tonight. Can't wait!

Nikki @ NikSnacks said...

I seriously don't care of chicken thighs for anything, not even stewing, but I love love love beans. I think I'll try this with ground chicken when it gets colder (because it was 80 degrees today!)

Sam said...

Looks delicious, I love this kind of food!

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