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Mediterranean Chicken and Bean Stew

January 18, 2010

I should have posted this recipe a while ago when I made it, because it was so simple and so good.  It’s not like this cold weather is going

mediterranean chicken and bean stew

away anytime soon, though, so you’ll have plenty of time to make it before it warms up.  I loved this recipe because it was really rich and flavorful, and got better with age.  It’s the perfect one pot meal, and all told, didn’t require a lot prep work.  In fact, there’s only one herb in here- rosemary.  I altered this recipe from Food & Wine a bit by adding mushrooms, eggplant and zucchini to make it more of a one-dish meal, and I served it with potatoes on the side.  I think it would also be great served over polenta or pasta.  I doubled the recipe and made a giant pot of it, but here I have one that serves 4.

Ingredients:

2 T olive oil

6 skinless chicken thighs or drumsticks, with bones

1 fennel bulb, cored, quartered and thinly sliced

2 large cloves garlic, minced

1 large zucchini, cut in large dice

1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/2″ cubes

1 box cremini (baby portobella) mushrooms, sliced

1 15 oz. can Roman, pinto or red beans, drained and rinsed

1 14 oz can whole plum tomatoes, finely chopped with juices reserved

12 oil-cured black olives, pitted and quartered lengthwise

6 sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced

1 T tomato paste

2 t chopped fresh rosemary

1 large dried red chile, or pinch red chili flakes

1/2 c water

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat and add the chicken, meat side down.  Brown both sides of the chicken, about 4 minutes on each side.  Transfer chicken to a plate.

Add the fennel, garlic, zucchini, eggplant and mushrooms to the pot and cook over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes.  Add the beans and stir to coat them in the oil.  Add the tomatoes and their juices, olives, sun-dried toamtoes, tomato paste, rosemary and chile.  Season with salt and pepper and cook at a simmer until the juices thicken a bit, about 4 minutes.  Add the chicken, its juices and the water, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes.  Flip the chicken pieces about halfway through cooking.  Check for seasonings and serve.  Note: it’s probably easeier to serve if you cut the meat off the bones, then put the meat back in the stew, stir it up, then serve.

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