Easy healthy meal answer: hearty delicious chicken stew
One day I was looking for an easy and nourishing recipe that would not keep me tied to the stove. Yet still be tasty and comforting on a brisk winter day.
We seem to collect cookbooks at our house. Some great, others a mixed bag of promises unfulfilled. Its a challenge sometimes to find that special recipe that is both easy and healthy.
Enter to my rescue the Nourishing Meals cookbook by Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre with a great chicken stew recipe. It ended up being perfect for either a slow cooker or the oven. The book itself is easy to recommend. Lots of healthy recipes.
The stew is wonderful added to brown rice or a mixed quinoa, teff and millet blend. Both variations are delicious. If you have a sensitivity to nightshades this recipe will not work for you because of the tomatoes and black pepper. I have modified it slightly from the book (see the optional step under instructions).
Slow Cooker Chicken Stew
(Nourishing Meals p. 197)
1 cup diced shallots (or substitute with a cup of diced onions with a crushed garlic clove)
3 stalks celery diced
4 carrots peeled and diced
1 ½ pounds boneless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
2 cups diced tomatoes
1 cup water
¼ to ½ cup dry white wine
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 to 2 teaspoons Herbamare or sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper.
Optional Step: If you have extra time you can sauté the shallots in 1 tablespoon of regular olive oil for 5 to 10 minutes over medium heat until soft, transparent, and beginning to brown. This helps gives the stew a richer taste. Let cool before adding to everything else. (If you are substituting onions and garlic, add the garlic to the pan just a couple of minutes before the onions finish cooking so it will not burn).
Prepare all ingredients and add them to your slow cooker. Cook on high for 4 to 5 hours or on low for 6 to 8 hours.
If you do not have a slow cooker, place all ingredients into a covered casserole dish or Dutch oven and bake in your oven for about 2 ½ hours at 300 degrees F.
Taste for seasoning just before serving and adjust if required.
Serves 4 to 6
If you are wondering what Herbamare is, it’s a sea salt infused with herbs. You can find it at the organic grocery store but it is also available in the organic section of some large chain grocery stores.
We usually have both regular and extra virgin olive oils in the house. Regular is the best to fry with since it withstands high temperature better, so if you choose to brown the shallots its the best choice. The extra virgin olive oil is great for the slow cooking part of this recipe, to put on foods after cooking, or to make homemade salad dressings