Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Provencal Chicken Stew

Winter Bees
by Joyce Sidman.

We are an ancient tribe,
a hardy scrum.
Born with eyelash legs
and tinsel wings,
we are nothing on our own.
Together, we are One.

We scaled a million blooms
to reap  the summer's glow.
Now, in the merciless cold,
we share each morsel of heat,
each honeyed crumb.
We cram to a sizzling ball
to warm our queen, our heart, our home.

Alone, we would falter and drop,
a dot on the canvas of snow.
Together, we boil, we teem, we hum.

Deep in the winter hive,
we burn like a golden sun.

from the book Winter Bees and Other Poems of the Cold by Joyce Sidman and Rick Allen

French Chicken Stew
This simple chicken stew draws on the characteristic flavors of Provence: tomatoes, basil, olives, and garlic. This dish was traditionally made in an earthenware casserole such as those produced in the Proven├žal town of Vallauris, located in the Alpes-Maritimes above Cannes. One of the best parts of this stew is once you have layered all the ingredients in a slow cooker you now have 5-6 hours free time :)
recipe adapted from BHG and Midwest Living serves 4-6
French Chicken Stew

  • 2 cups sliced button and/or stemmed shiitake mushrooms
  • 1-14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes (oregano, basil, onion), undrained
  • 2 medium carrots, thinly diagonally sliced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium red potato, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup fresh green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • optional 1/2 cup pitted ripe olives, halved
  • 1-1/2  cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2  cup dry white wine or chicken broth
  • 2 TB. quick-cooking tapioca
  • 1  tsp. herbes de Provence or dried Italian seasoning, crushed
  • 3/4 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
  • 8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (1-3/4 to 2 pounds total) or 4 skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
  • 1- 14 ounce jar marinara pasta sauce 
  • In a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker combine mushrooms, tomatoes, carrots, onion, potato, green beans, olives, garlic, broth, tapioca, herbs de Provence, thyme, and pepper. Place chicken on top; sprinkle with seasoned salt.
  • Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 6-8  hours or 4 hours on high a highsetting. 
  • Add in wine and  pasta sauce the last hour of cooking time.
  • If desired, serve with French bread.

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