Today's challenge was chicken - I had 4 chicken breasts on the bone, lots of cans in the pantry and veggies in the refrigerator. I grabbed a few cookbooks and ended up choosing Chicken Spezzatino from Everyday Italian by Giada de Laurentiis for my recipe.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 celery stalks, cut into bite sized pieces
1 carrot, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
1 small onion, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can chopped tomatoes with their juices
1 (14 ounce) can reduced sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 chicken breasts with ribs
1 (15 ounce) can organic kidney beans, drained (rinsed if not organic)
In a heavy 5 1/2 quart saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the celery, carrot, and onion, and saute until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the salt and pepper. Stir in the tomatoes, broth, basil, tomato paste, bay leaf, and thyme. Add the chicken and press to submerge. Bring the liquid to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently, uncovered, turning the breasts over and stirring occasionally, until the chicken is almost cooked through, about 20 minutes. Add the kidney beans and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the liquid has reduce to a stew consistency, about 10 minutes.
Discard the bay leaf. Let the chicken cool for 5 minutes. Discard the skin and bones and cut the meat into bite-sized pieces. Return the stew and bring to a simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serves 4 to 6.
Here are my changes to this recipe...
Well there were already 4 breasts halfway thawed when I decided to make this meal, so I doubled the the amount of chicken. I also doubled the amount of tomatoes, tomato paste and chicken broth too. I did not have any fresh basil on hand so I used 2 tablespoons of dried basil instead. I also used white cannellini beans (non-organic) instead of red kidney beans - either I think would work well. I also had a head of cauliflower that I needed to use, so I went ahead and added it to the stew.
This was really easy and turned out to be delicious! I had some crusty bread and a glass (or 2) of red wine and thought this was a wonderful meal. I will probably freeze half of this because there were not 8-12 people around to eat it!