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Best Chicken Stew

Best Chicken Stew

The title of this recipe on Cook’s Illustrated is called best chicken stew for a reason… it is truly the best, most flavorful, most delicious chicken stew I have ever had. It’s not like I am surprised though, Cook’s Illustrated has yet to disappoint me. I was drawn to this recipe for a few reasons. One, because it is absolutely freezing in Oregon right now and we are preparing for a snow storm tonight. This kind of weather always has me wanting to make soup or stew. Two, I was really intrigued that they used chicken wings in the soup for flavoring and thickening. Three, they scraped the sides of the Dutch oven to remove the frond when stirring during the cooking process, which adds so much flavor to the stew. Not only was this recipe fun and challenging (in a good way!) to make, it made my house smell absolutely incredible while it cooked. The gravy was so thick and flavorful and the chicken was tender and perfectly cooked. We are huge beef stew lovers in this house but I have to say, we were all impressed with this stew and thought it was hearty and delicious. Make sure to serve this stew with some freshly baked bread for dipping!

Best Chicken Stew

How to Make the Best Chicken Stew

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Cook the bacon pieces in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until fat renders and bacon browns, 4-5 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and transfer it to a plate. Add the chicken wings to the Dutch oven, increase heat to medium-high, and cook until well browned on both sides, 8-10 minutes; transfer wings to the plate with the bacon.

Add the diced onion and celery and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute.

Add 1 cup of white wine and 1 cup of chicken broth along with the soy sauce to the vegetables, making sure to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the Dutch oven; and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid evaporates and vegetables begin to sizzle again, 12 to 14 minutes.

Add the butter and stir until melted; sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir to combine. Gradually whisk in the remaining 4 cups of chicken broth until smooth and creamy. Add the browned wings and bacon pieces along with the potatoes and carrots; bring to a simmer.

Transfer to the oven and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring once halfway through cooking.

While the stew is cooking, prepare the chicken thighs. Trim the chicken thighs of fat and cut them into bite-sized pieces. Season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste.

Remove the Dutch oven from the oven. Use a spoon to draw gravy up the sides of the Dutch oven and scrape browned fond into the stew. Place over high heat, add the chicken thigh pieces, and bring to a simmer. Return the Dutch oven to the oven, uncovered, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 45 minutes longer.

Discard wings and taste. Season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste, if needed then sprinkle with fresh parsley. Serve with freshly baked bread and enjoy.

Best Chicken Stew

Best Chicken Stew

Best Chicken Stew

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Course: Soup
Servings: 6
Author: Adapted by Pam - For the Love of Cooking / Original by Cook's Illustrated

Ingredients

  • 3 slices bacon chopped into pieces
  • 1 pound chicken wings halved at joint
  • 1 small sweet yellow onion diced
  • 2 celery rib diced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 5 cups chicken broth divided
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 pound small baby red potatoes unpeeled, quartered
  • 4 carrots peeled and diced
  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs trimmed of any fat and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  • Cook the bacon pieces in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until fat renders and bacon browns, 4-5 minutes.
  • Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and transfer it to a plate.
  • Add the chicken wings to the Dutch oven, increase heat to medium-high, and cook until well browned on both sides, 8-10 minutes; transfer wings to the plate with the bacon.
  • Add the diced onion and celery and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and thyme and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute.
  • Add 1 cup of white wine and 1 cup of chicken broth along with the soy sauce to the vegetables, making sure to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the Dutch oven; and bring to a boil.
  • Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid evaporates and vegetables begin to sizzle again, 12 to 14 minutes.
  • Add the butter and stir until melted; sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir to combine.
  • Gradually whisk in the remaining 4 cups of chicken broth until smooth and creamy.
  • Add the browned wings and bacon pieces along with the potatoes and carrots; bring to a simmer.
  • Transfer to the oven and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring once halfway through cooking.
  • While the stew is cooking, prepare the chicken thighs. Trim the chicken thighs of fat and cut them into bite-sized pieces. Season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste.
  • Remove the Dutch oven from the oven. Use a spoon to draw gravy up the sides of the Dutch oven and scrape browned fond into the stew.
  • Place over high heat, add the chicken thigh pieces, and bring to a simmer.
  • Return the Dutch oven to the oven, uncovered, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 45 minutes longer.
  • Discard wings and taste.
  • Season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste, if needed then sprinkle with fresh parsley.
  • Serve with freshly baked bread and enjoy.
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Recipe Rating




18 Comments

  1. How many chicken thighs are you adding? Looks delicious.

    1. 2 lbs of boneless skinless thighs. I’ve fixed the recipe.

      ~Pam

  2. You are missing the chicken thighs from the ingredient list, oops. I’m adding this one to my todo list, probably after New Years.

    1. Thank you! I just fixed the recipe.

      ~Pam

  3. Looks delicious and great use of the wings, cept I would probably not discard them :-). As I read this, I realized that I don’t believe I’ve ever had chicken stew.

    1. My daughter and husband nibbled on the wings during dinner.

  4. whether i’m sickly or not, chicken soup has a way of making me feel better. this looks so delicious, and i wish i could smell it!

  5. Please update with the amount of chicken thighs needed! I can’t wait to make this one. Sounds perfect for a cold winter Sunday.

  6. Hi Pam, this looks like an excellent winter dish for those of us stuck in the snow-belt areas (I’m in Michigan)! I see that you bought your wings from New Seasons. We don’t have New Seasons in Michigan, but a friend of mine works at one of the New Seasons in Portland, Oregon as a cashier. She’s from Michigan originally as well, but has called Portland her home for over 25 years. Her name is Lynne and she is an absolute sweetheart. I am sure she would love being able to talk with you if only for a brief moment while you are checking out if you do so at her location. I also know that she would love this Chicken Stew recipe as well!

    1. Hi Sue,

      New Season’s is my favorite grocery store. We have several of them throughout the Portland area. I shop at one in Beaverton.

      ~Pam

    2. She works at the Raleigh Hills location. Lynn says it’s comparable to our Whole Foods Markets, which are very good as well. Have ingredients now for this Chicken Stew and will make it this weekend. Thanks for all of your great recipes!

  7. I made something similar to this a few weeks back, when it was cold and rainy outside, although I didn’t think of soy sauce and wine for flavoring. It looks terrific!

  8. 4 stars
    This Chicken Stew sounds incredibly delicious, and I like that I’ll be able to use up some of the wings which I save in a freezer bag to make chicken stock (whenever I get around to doing so). The thighs will definitely add a lot of flavor to this stew. They’re our favorite part of the chicken.
    I’m saving this terrific recipe for a cold winter’s evening when we’re snowed-in, so that I’ll have a lot of time to fuss over our supper. It’s a bit labor intensive, but well worth the time. I like that this recipe calls for ingredients which most of us already have on hand. I plan to serve it with either freshly baked Red Lobster Cheddar Biscuits, or hot Garlic Cheddar Bread.

  9. I’ve never made a chicken stew but that’s definitely about to change. If you say it’s great, I know it’s great.