Tuscan Chicken Stew: The Perfect Autumn Dish

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Right now, if you’re like me, you’re buried in Thanksgiving leftovers.  There will be days of turkey casserole and turkey sandwiches ahead in our house, with sides of sweet potato souffle and whatever veggies can stand to be rewarmed–again.  And when we’ve finally eaten all of the leftovers, a dish like Tuscan Chicken Stew will be perfect reintroduce our palate to non-Thanksgiving food.

As an Italian, I am not quite sure what is “Tuscan” about this stew.  Tuscany is known for Chianti, which isn’t an ingredient in this dish, and there are no olives in it either, which, in my experience, tends to be the deciding factor when a chain restaurant throws the Tuscan label on a dish.  Regardless of my feelings of uncertainty regarding the naming of this dish, I feel comfortable recommending this stew.  The first time that I made it, a few weeks ago, I followed the pin and used this recipe from food.com.  We enjoyed it, but I felt it needed “something”.  So, I made it again, and added a few things.  What a difference a few ingredients made!  Here’s how you make it with my twists.

Start off sautéing some boneless skinless chicken thighs in hot olive oil.  When they are browned, remove them from the pan and reserve them for later.

Then add your onions, peppers, and a some cut spinach (I wish I’d had more leftover, because I just love to throw spinach in anything that I can) to the pan and cook for 3-5 minutes, until the onions and peppers are softened.

Add your garlic. I used 4 cloves, double what the original recipe called for, because garlic rocks.  I buy it pre minced, because it’s easier than cutting it up every time, and we use it so quickly that it doesn’t seem to lose quality.

Then return the chicken to the pot and add 3 cans of stewed tomatoes (juice and all), white wine, oregano, and red pepper flakes to the pepper mixture, simmering everything together on low heat.

I stirred it every few minutes, and breathed in all of its yumminess. The stirring also helped to break up the pieces of chicken, so that they are more bite sized.  They literally just fall apart, no cutting required.

After about 30 minutes, add your rinsed and drained kidney and cannellini beans, one can of each, and continue simmering for about 5 minutes, allowing the beans to heat through.

Check this stuff out.  Hons, my mouth is watering looking at these pictures.

Spoon it out into bowls and top it with shredded parmesan.  The powdery stuff won’t have the same ooey, gooey effect.

I also served it with big chunks of crusty Italian bread.  My guys love this stuff.  It’s got just enough spice to make it flavorful.

So, here’s the full recipe:

Ingredients

1.  8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

2. 1 1/2 teaspoon olive oil

3. 1 thinly sliced yellow onion

4. 2 thinly sliced bell peppers (green will do, but yellow and red add a sweeter flavor)

5. 1 1/2 cup diced spinach leaves

5.  4 cloves of garlic, minced

6. 3 (14.5 ounce) cans of stewed or diced tomatoes UNDRAINED

7.  2/3 cup dry white wine

8.  1 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 large fresh oregano sprig, chopped.

9.  1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

10.  1 (14.5 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

11.  1 (14.5 ounce) can red or pink kidney beans, drained and rinsed

12. Shredded parmesan to top

Directions: 

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a large, non-stick, pot. Be sure it’s a big pot, you’ve got a lot of ingredients to fit into it. Saute chicken thighs until brown. Remove chicken from the pan and reserve.
  2. Add the onions, peppers, and spinach to the pan and cook 3 to 5 minutes until soft but not browned. Add minced garlic.
  3. Return chicken to the pot. Add canned tomatoes with their juice, wine, oregano, and red pepper flakes to the onions and peppers. Simmer 30 minutes, until chicken is cooked through, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add rinsed and drained beans to the pan, and simmer another 5 minutes until heated through.
  5. Top individual servings with parmesan cheese.
I hope you give Tuscan Chicken Stew a try.  And if you do, come back and let me know how it went over in your house.
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