Rich Chicken Stew

From Eat Healthy Your Way: Spring 2012

A blanquette is a classic French stew of veal, chicken or lamb with mushrooms in a velvety sauce. This concept has been adapted to the slow cooker to make a lightened-up version using chicken thighs. Just a little whipping cream (which is less inclined to break down than lighter creams and gives more density to the sauce) adds richness. This is delightful over egg noodles.


6 servings, about 1 cup each
Active Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 4 1/2 hours

Ingredients

  • 1 pound mushrooms, stems trimmed, caps wiped clean
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots (about 2 large)
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water, divided
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup thinly sliced carrots
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut in 2-inch chunks
  • 2 1/4-inch-thick lemon slices, (including peel), seeded
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cups frozen green peas, thawed
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

Preparation

  1. Combine mushrooms, shallots, oil and 1/4 cup water in a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven. Cover and cook over high heat, stirring often, until mushrooms are juicy, 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms are lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add broth, carrots, thyme and bay leaves; bring to a boil.
  2. Place chicken in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker and lay lemon slices on top. Turn heat to high. Carefully pour in the vegetable mixture. Cover and cook until the chicken is very tender, 3 1/2 to 4 hours.
  3. With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken and vegetables to a bowl; discard bay leaves and lemon slices. Skim fat and pour the juices into a large saucepan; add lemon zest. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil until reduced to 2 cups, 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Mix cornstarch with remaining 1/4 cup water in a small bowl. Add to the pan and cook, stirring, until slightly thickened. Add cream and lemon juice; stir until boiling. Return the chicken and vegetables to the sauce and heat through. Season with salt and pepper. Just before serving, stir in peas and parsley.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 4 up to adding the peas and parsley. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator, if necessary, and reheat; just before serving, stir in peas and parsley.

Nutrition

Per serving: 319 calories; 15 g fat (5 g sat, 6 g mono); 99 mg cholesterol; 17 g carbohydrates; 31 g protein; 3 g fiber; 701 mg sodium; 858 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (100% daily value), Vitamin C (33% dv), Zinc (26% dv), Potassium (24% dv), Iron (17% dv).

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