MEDITERRANEAN CHICKEN STEW

Warm and hearty chicken stew loaded with veggies and delicately flavored with herbs.

Whenever we think of Mediterranean food, the very first things that come to our minds are hummus, pita, and couscous. But did you know that soups and stews also form a large part of the Mediterranean diet? Stews are great one-pot meals that are usually very easy to prepare.

The popular Mediterranean stews include:
  • Chickpea stew
  • Beef in red wine stew
  • Seafood stew
  • Fish stew
  • Tangine stew
  • Chicken and plum tomato stew
The Mediterranean Chicken Stew is my take on the popular version. I have changed the recipe to suit my needs and it turned out to be great. So much so that I had to prepare it multiple times for my family.

ABOUT THE RECIPE

Mediterranean Chicken stew is the ideal comfort food, hearty and warm. The spices are so subtle that, it appeals to almost everybody's taste. The stew is slow-cooked in a dutch oven or a heavy-bottomed pan in a medium flame. The key to making a perfect stew is browning the chicken pieces properly and ensure that they don't steam. The caramelization on the chicken and the bottom of the pan is what flavors the stew. The stew is loaded with vegetables and the flavor infused chicken pieces almost melt in the mouth. Give this satisfying stew a try and thank me later.

INGREDIENTS

Chicken: I have used boneless chicken pieces but you could use bone-in pieces too. Just ensure to brown them for a longer time.

Veggies: Vegetables are a big part of the stew. You can use any vegetables of your choice. I have used cabbage, carrot, and potatoes. Mushrooms, olives, baby corn, beans, or squash can be great additions too.

Spices & Herbs: They are the backbone of this recipe. Each has its characteristic aroma and flavor that adds to the taste of the stew. I have used cinnamon, bay leaf, cumin, thyme, and rosemary.

Cooking medium: The cooking medium is olive oil which is the essence of Mediterranean cuisine.

Broths and liquids: Since this is a stew, the veggies and chicken will simmer in a liquid for a long time resulting in flavorful, succulent chicken pieces. I have used chicken broth and white wine. White wine imparts a richness to the stew while chicken broth adds to the taste and volume of the stew. You can easily replace the chicken broth with vegetable stock or beef broth.

Seasonings: Salt, black pepper, and sugar.

Others: Onion, ginger, garlic, and tomato paste are irreplaceable ingredients in almost any Mediterranean stew.

VARIATIONS

  • Swap the chicken with beef or lamb for dinner on a cold night.
  • Include vegetables like mushroom, green bean or butternut squash.
  • Add more greens like kale, spinach, or celery.
  • Add legumes like chickpeas or kidney beans to this hearty stew to make it a one-pot meal.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is the difference between a soup and a stew?

Soup and stew are both a combination of vegetables and proteins cooked in liquid. The only difference between the two warm and hearty dishes is the amount of liquid in each. Stews generally contain less liquid than soup. The other difference is in the broth, soups typically rely on water or stock while the stew often includes wine or beer for additional flavor. Soup is any combination of ingredients cooked in liquid. Stew takes longer to cook because it is simmered in a covered pot for a long time.

Can I use bone-in chicken pieces instead?

Yes, you can use bone-in pieces, make sure to brown the chicken pieces a little longer to ensure that the chicken is cooked through.

How can I thicken my chicken stew?

You may use cornflour or cornstarch to thicken your stew if it is too watery for your liking. Dissolve a tablespoon of cornstarch in the same amount of water and add it to the stew. Mix well and cook for a minute to thicken the stew.

What other herbs can I use?

Chicken is so versatile that almost all flavors work with it. From the simple cilantro or garlic to other herbs, add your favorites to flavor your stew. You can use sage, tarragon, or marjoram too.

How can I remove excess fat from my stew?

Refrigerate stew for several hours before serving. Fat will rise to the surface and solidify. Skim off the fat and discard.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS

You can serve this stew as it is. For a fuller meal you can serve it with crusty bread, mashed potatoes, or pilaf.

STORAGE SUGGESTIONS

You can store the stew in a refrigerator for up to 3 days. It is advisable to store in multiple containers for easy reheating so that you do not have to reheat the entire batch again and again. Technically, you can freeze stew in an airtight container for up to 3 months but be aware that the flavor will no longer be like freshly cooked stew. The onions will lose their pungency and the herbs will not be so potent.

MEDITERRANEAN CHICKEN STEW
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MEDITERRANEAN CHICKEN STEW

Yield: 6
Author: The GradChef
Prep time: 15 MCook time: 40 MTotal time: 55 M
Warm and hearty chicken stew loaded with veggies and delicately flavored with herbs.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken cut into small pieces
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 2 carrots peeled and cut into 1/2" thick pieces
  • 1 cup roughly chopped cabbage
  • 2 potatoes halved or quartered
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 fresh thyme stems
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2" cinnamon stick
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • sugar to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a dutch oven or a heavy-bottomed pot, heat olive oil.
  2. Place chicken pieces in a large mixing bowl and season with 1/2 tbsp salt and 1 tsp black pepper. Sprinkle flour and toss to combine and evenly coat the chicken pieces.
  3. Transfer the chicken pieces into the pot and cook over medium-high heat, until the pieces are nicely browned. Transfer the browned chicken pieces to a bowl.
  4. Add 2 tbsp olive oil to the pot. When the oil heats, add bay leaves and cinnamon.
  5. Add minced garlic and ginger followed sliced carrots, diced onion, and chopped cabbage and saute for a few minutes.
  6. Add tomato paste, cumin powder, thyme, rosemary, salt, sugar, and pepper.
  7. Add wine to the pot and bring to a boil, scraping the bottom. Simmer for a few minutes.
  8. Add 2 cups of broth, return chicken pieces to the pot then add potatoes. Stir to combine and make sure potatoes are submerged in liquid. Cover with lid and cook until done.
  9. Garnish with fresh rosemary stems and freshly ground pepper.

Notes:

  • You can use boneless chicken thighs and breast pieces.
  • You can use other vegetables like mushrooms and squash too.
  • Add olives for tartness if you prefer.
  • You can also sprinkle some feta cheese while serving.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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