It has been windy and rain-swept here on the coastline with temperatures in the mid 60’s all week. Do you know what that means? It’s time for cozy pj’s, sweaters, boots and cold weather crock-pot comfort food! There are so many recipes for chicken stew out there but I always just revert back to my “kitchen sink’ style of cooking when it comes to soups and stews. I look in the refrigerator for whatever needs to be used before it turns to the dark side, throw it in a pot with some seasoning and there you have it. I do, however enjoy giving it a face lift so with this stew I pureed the stock and ingredients so it’s nice and thick, shred the chicken and topped it with some bacon. It was the perfect stick-to-your-ribs, hug-you-from-the-inside-out supper on a cold and damp night as the wind howled and the ocean raged. Since I had so much left over and it’s so tasty I jarred some for the winter. Now these measurements are approximate since I was clearing out the veggie drawer so just use what you have – improvise. The flavors may surprise you (in a good way)! I used my 7 quart (oval) crock-pot for this recipe. You can always use a smaller one and reduce the ingredients.
- 1 5 lb. package boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cubed)
- 1/3 bag baby carrots
- 4 large garlic cloves (peeled & whole)
- 2 large red peppers (roughly chopped)
- 1 can small white beans (drained)
- 1 can red kidney beans (drained)
- 4 Russet potatoes (cut in half, lengthwise)
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 2 Tbsp. salt
- 1 Tbsp. dried rosemary
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Place all ingredients in a 7 quart crock-pot and mix gently so all the seasonings are incorporated.
- Cover and cook on HIGH for 6 hours.
- Cook off one package of bacon, drain from grease and set aside.
- Once finished, remove the chicken chunks into a large bowl and shred with forks.
- Ladle the stock and veggies into a blender little by little and use the food processor and puree settings until all of the ingredients have become a thick and creamy puree.
- Pour the puree into the large bowl with the shredded chicken and stir gently so the chicken is evenly incorporated.
- Ladle some into a bowl, top with chopped bacon, serve with a piece of bread and enjoy!