just me

Chicken Stew! Just For You!

In Chicken, Soups/Stews on January 29, 2010 at 4:25 pm

Guaranteed to cure a hangover!

So, I had three measly chicken drumsticks in the fridge that I had taken out to thaw for a dinner I never made. I then forgot about them for a day. Next thing you know, I’m in the fridge for something to drink, and what’s sitting on the shelf in front of the water pitcher? The darn chicken. Doh! Well, I had already planned something else for dinner that night, and we were going out the next night, so what should I do with them? Can’t re-freeze them. Not gonna eat ’em. Definitely NOT going to just leave them in the fridge – I don’t know about you, but raw chicken gives me the heebie jeebies if it’s been in the fridge for more than a couple of days. And I refuse to throw away perfectly good food. There are children starving all over.

Then it hit me – stew! Yeah! Throw a bunch of crap into a crockpot, let it do its thing for a few hours, then freeze it until I need an emergency dinner! I am a genius, I know. So that’s what I did.  It’s a good thing, too, because that emergency dinner came last night – out came the stew, so. Down the hatch, so. Double-take! Omigod! That’s good! Really, really good. As in cures-what-ails-ya. Flushes ya out. Gets rid of stuff. Yeah, it’s better than medicine.

Being the generous person I am, I decided to share this one with you, my lovely readers. Both of you. I know, it’s a young blog, traffic will pick up. Until that happens, consider yourselves the privileged holders of the magic stew recipe!

There are so many ways to do this, but this is how I did it the other night:

Chicken Stew


3 chicken drumsticks

4 ribs celery, chopped

3 carrots, chopped

1/2 large sweet onion, chopped

3 cups kale, rinsed and torn

1/2 cup uncooked pastina (tiny stars)

2 cups chicken broth

2 cups water

salt, pepper, sage, thyme, rosemary


Remember how we layered with the beef stew? We’re going to do something similar here. In your crock-pot, layer the onions, then chicken, then carrots and celery.

Add the broth and water, and season to taste. It won’t hurt if you over-season a little – this is going to be cooking a long time, and it produce additional liquid, so the flavor will dilute a bit. Besides, I like highly seasoned food. Season away!

Cover and cook on high for about 3 hours. Wait! You’re not done! Open it up (this is where I always get the steam burns) and stir it. Add the pastina and kale, and stir a little more. Re-cover, and continue cooking on high for another 3-4 hours, or until chicken is done.

If you serve it as soon as it’s done cooking, it will have a soup-like consistency. If that’s what you like, have at it. If you put it in the fridge for a day or so, or freeze it, it will thicken up considerably, like in the above photo. See, the pasta absorbs water. I personally prefer a thicker stew, but that’s just me. You can thin it out with more broth or even some water if you want.

It’s also wise to check the seasoning right before you serve it. I always like to add more rosemary at the last minute to give it a little bite.

Okay folks – happy slurping!

  1. My Mother would be Proud of me. I tried kale as a substitute for spinach and ate it all. Frankly I prefer the same recipe with spinach.

    • You know, me too. But good for you! Kale! At least you can say you did it, and you did not die. Really, spinach tops any leafy green, in my opinion, but it doesn’t have quite the intestinal Drano qualities of kale. 🙂

  2. Had a similar experience with frozen chicken in a 12 pack which I didn’t want to defrost. Split off two legs and turned it into coffee pot cacciatore. My unpublished soup recipe is similar to yours except I don’t cook with kale and my granddaughters like dumplings and large pasta.

    • You know, I never really cooked with kale either, until lately. It was on sale, and I know the nutritionists are always badgering us to eat more kale, so I picked up a bag. I’ve made it several different ways, and as it turns out, I really like it! And once you actually have it in the fridge, you end up throwing it into almost everything. The only drawback is that it really doesn’t taste good raw – you really have to cook it, and you need to flavor it somehow. But with all those vitamins, and I think there’s a lot of iron too, it’s an easy way to do something right for your body! 🙂

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