Monday, November 28, 2011

Homemade Chicken Stew

A good hearty, southern chicken stew, made from a stewed chicken, fresh potatoes and your choice of veggie add-ins.
A good hearty, southern chicken stew, made from a stewed chicken, fresh potatoes and your choice of veggie add-ins.

Homemade Chicken Stew

A hearty stew is a good thing when the weather turns cold and this homemade chicken stew sure made me happy today. It's been a bit gloomy around here for a few days - overcast, rainy and then cold weather moved in here last night with a vengeance. I stepped outside with the pup - gotta watch over him because we've had a couple close-up encounters with possums and raccoons here lately - and brrrrr y'all. The temperature must've dropped 40 degrees in just a few hours! I was happy that I had this stew made up, that's for sure.

The shortcut version of chicken stew that I have posted before, is a super easy and flavorful recipe for anytime you're in a hurry for a quick stew, but when you have a little more time on your hands to stew down a chicken, the added flavor from that homemade stock is just amazing.

Hopefully by now you've worked through any Thanksgiving leftovers or at least gotten the stragglers put up into the freezer. I tell you what... we sure have a lot to be grateful for around here, having shared meals with three groups of family, together with the meal that I made for just the two of us, all providing us with plenty of leftovers. Turkey sandwiches on leftover rolls or just plain ole white bread are always my hands-down favorite leftover from the holidays.

Next to that would have to be Turkey Bone Gumbo or Turkey Carcass Soup, and my holiday bird carcass is in the freezer waiting for one of those. While it won't be quite the same as using a whole fresh chicken, this Chicken Stew would be another perfect opportunity to use up that turkey carcass that you froze and some of that leftover turkey meat you may still have hanging around too.

By the way, I hope that you will forgive me for my photography skills here lately. For one thing I'm having computer issues and my primary laptop that I work from refuses now to see my camera, so pictures have to be uploaded to another computer, apart from the one that I work from. Plus, y'all already know by now that I'm not really one of those food blog sites that has gorgeous, well-styled photography anyway, right? Since what you see here is always what's for supper too, this is really more of a cookin' and eatin' recipe site rather than a photography site. Sometimes I'm just in the mood to cook and eat and not fuss over photography, so I hope you'll forgive me.

I hope you had a wonderful, long Thanksgiving weekend and enjoyed some likely sorely needed rest and relaxation to get you revved up for the Christmas season - I know I sure did. If you follow food blogs, you'll be seeing lots of cookies and other sweet treats showcased this week and in the coming weeks across the blogosphere. I even picked up a few supplies myself to get in the mood, so don't be surprised if you see a few sweets showing up here soon too.

For more of my favorite stew recipes, pop over to my Pinterest page!

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Recipe: Homemade Chicken Stew

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 1 hour 30 min |Cook time: 40 min | Yield: About 1 gallon

  • 1 (3 to 4 pound) whole fryer chicken, cut up
  • Water to cover, about 2 quarts
  • 2 teaspoons of kosher salt
  • 1/2 an onion, cut into chunks
  • 1 carrot, cut into chunks
  • 1 celery stalk, cut into chunks
  • 4 slices of bacon, chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups of chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup of chopped green bell pepper, optional
  • 1/3 cup of all purpose flour
  • 2 pounds of russet potatoes, chopped into medium chunks (about 4 cups)
  • 1 (28 ounce) can of whole tomatoes, cut up, undrained
  • 3 to 4 (approx. 15 ounce each) cans of vegetables (lima beans, whole kernel corn, mixed vegetables, etc.) drained
  • 2 teaspoons of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 (12 ounce) can of evaporated milk, divided
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup (1/2 to 1 stick) of butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama {affil link})
  • 1 tablespoon of dried parsley
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch

Place chicken pieces in a tall stockpot; cover with water and add salt, onion, carrot and celery. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook until tender and chicken is falling off the bone. Strain, reserving all of the broth, and when cooled enough, debone the chicken; set aside. Discard vegetables.

In the bottom of the same stockpot or a Dutch oven, cook the bacon with the onion and green bell pepper, until bacon is rendered but not crisp. Stir in the flour and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Begin stirring in the reserved stock until fully incorporated. Bring mixture to a boil, add potatoes, return to a boil and cook for 5 minutes.

Use kitchen shears to cut up the tomatoes in the can, then add the tomatoes, canned vegetables, and sugar and pepper to the stew. Bring back to a boil, reduce to low simmer and let cook, uncovered for 30 minutes. Set aside 1/4 cup of the evaporated milk. Stir in the remaining evaporated milk, cooked chicken, butter, thyme, Cajun seasoning, and parsley into the stew. Make a slurry of the reserved evaporated milk and the 2 tablespoons of cornstarch; add to stew. Bring to a near boil, reduce and slow simmer another 10 minutes. Taste and add salt, only if needed; adjust other seasonings to taste. Serve with cornbread or crackers.

Cook's Notes: As always, this stew only improves over time, so try to make it ahead if possible. It is always best to make a homemade stock made from the chicken of course, however you can substitute commercial chicken stock or broth - you'll need 2 quarts. I do recommend Kitchen Basics Chicken Stock {affil link}for this recipe, rather than a commercial chicken broth, or use a tablespoon of Better Than Bouillon {affil link}chicken base to enhance a commercial broth.

Use an assortment of vegetables to your liking. This time I used a can of lima beans, a can of Veg-All mixed vegetables, and a can of whole kernel corn, all drained. If you aren't a fan of chunks of tomato, substitute a large can of crushed or diced tomatoes in place of the whole, cut up tomatoes. Can also substitute an equal amount of frozen or fresh vegetables and a rotisserie chicken, or 3 to 4 cups of already cooked chicken.


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©Deep South Dish
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Posted by on November 28, 2011

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