Sunday, November 15, 2009

Chicken spezzatino ( italian soup-stew)

This is a healthy favorite at our house. It's from Giada Delaurantis's Everyday Italian cookbook.

2 Tbs. olive Oil
2 celery stalks, cut into bite-size pieces
1 carrot, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
1 small onion, chopped
1 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1 (14 1/2 oz)can chopped tomatoes with their juices
1 (14 oz)can chicken broth
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
1 Tbs tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
2 chicken breasts with ribs ( about 1 1/2 pounds total)
1 (15 oz)can kidney beans ( I like to use the little white canelinni beans)

In a heavy 5 quart sauce pan, heat the oil over a meduim flame. Add the celery, carrot, and onion, and saute until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the salt and pepper. Stir in the tomatoes, broth, basil, tomato paste, bay leaf, and thyme. Add the chicken and press to submerge. Bring the liquid to a simmer gently, uncovered , turning the breasts over and stirring occasionally, until the chicken isalmost cooked through, about 20 minutes. add the beans and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the liquid has reduced to a stew consistancy, about 10 minutes. Discard teh bay leaf. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes. Discard the skin and bones and cut the meat into bite size pieces. Return it to the stew and bring to a simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste if needed. I like to top it with parmesean cheese!

* I just use boneless chicken breasts. I also double the batch while I'm at it and freeze the rest

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