Stews are similar to soups, although stews generally have less liquid than soup.
A stew is a combination of solid food ingredients which have been cooked in liquid. Ingredients in a stew can include vegetables (such as carrots, potatoes, beans, peppers, potatoes and tomatoes, etc.), meat, especially tougher meats suitable for slow-cooking.
Poultry and seafood are also used and make for a faster meal. Beef stews usually require longer cooking times. While water can be used as the stew-cooking liquid, wine, and stock are also common. Seasoning and flavorings are also added. Stews are typically cooked at a relatively low temperature (simmered, not boiled), allowing flavors to mingle.
As with soup, a stew is a great way to use veggies past their peak. Looking for a tasty meal for company, I pulled some chicken breasts out of the freezer and gathered the rest of the ingredients from my refrigerator. This recipe is what I had on hand. In fact the mushrooms had begun to shrivel, but were not slimy. Adding them to the stew, rehydrated them. Feel free to alter the ingredients to your liking.
6 to 8 chicken pieces: legs and/or thighs and/or breasts (about 3 pounds)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 tablespoons coconut oil –divided
1 large onion, sliced
2 mixed green and red bell peppers, cored, seeded and thinly sliced
1 large celery stalk
4 medium sliced carrots
3 minced garlic cloves
6 to 8 peeled white potatoes
8 ounces of chicken broth
8 ounces chopped tomatoes with juice, pulsed in a food processor
¼ pound sliced mushrooms
Salt and Pepper
1. Rinse the chicken pieces and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper. Heat half the coconut oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat, and brown the chicken pieces, in batches, on each side for about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl or plate. Pour off the fat from the pan and discard.
2. Turn the heat down to medium. Add the balance of the coconut oil and the onion with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze, until the onions, bell peppers and celery stalk begin to soften. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook, stirring. Add potatoes, carrots, tomatoes and broth and stir together. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
3. Return the chicken pieces to the pan. Cover and cook about 30 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring at regular intervals and turning the chicken pieces over so that the ingredients don’t scorch and the chicken cooks evenly. The last 20 minutes, add the the mushrooms. The peppers should be very soft and the chicken quite tender. Add freshly ground pepper, taste and adjust the salt.
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