STEW SEASON IS BACK! this past weekend in toronto the weather dropped. the air was crisp, i put on my favourite knit grey sweater & decided it was finally time to make stew. figures it is back to summer weather this week, but let's just ignore that & talk about this stew. you probably thought until now i ate cookies & cake for breakfast, lunch & dinner. however, most of the time i eat healthy, vegetable rich meals. soups & stews are something i can make in my sleep. they are perfect for a cozy sunday afternoon & the left overs make for a healthy, hearty, homemade work day lunch. this particular stew is super healthy, as i pack a ton of veggies & lean chicken into it. if you want to make it even healthier, feel free to swap out the chicken legs for chicken breasts (but i prefer the bones to give it some additional flavour). lastly, using fresh basil, freshens up the dish & gives it a subtle rather then overwhelming flavour. now blow the dust off your cocotte & lets get stewing!
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 carrots, pealed & chopped
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1 cup sliced white mushrooms
- 1 cup diced potatoes
- 2-3 garlic cloves chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 6 chicken legs
- salt & pepper
- 5 cups chicken stock (store bought or homemade)
- 2-3 sprigs fresh basil
- 1 teaspoon dried parsely
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch (optional)
- 1 cup frozen peas
- in a mixing bowl place onion, carrots, celery, red pepper, mushrooms, potatoes and garlic. set aside.
- to a large stock pot or dutch oven heat two tablespoons of olive oil to medium high.
- season your chicken legs with salt & pepper and sear on each side. remove from the pot and set aside.
- add in your bowl of chopped veggies and cook until they begin to soften & the onions begin to turn translucent. season with salt & pepper.
- add the chicken legs back to the pot followed by the chicken stock, basil and parsely.
- turn heat on high & bring to a boil. turn back down to medium low & let simmer with the lid on for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- if you wish to thicken it with cornstarch add it now by making a cornstarch slurry (to avoid adding it straight to the pot which may result in clumping).
- finish off with adding your frozen peas and remove from the heat. adding the peas at the end ensures the colour stays fresh & vibrant.
- serve with a few springs of fresh basil.