Stew, Tuscan Chicken, Beef or Lamb

This is one of my go-to recipes for elegant comfort food.  And not only is it comfort food, it is healing food.  I made this stew with lamb for my dear friend, Nancy when she was in the throes of chemotherapy.  She wasn’t allowed any raw vegetables, so I made this stew with extra vegetables that added layers of fabulous flavor and packed with healing nutrition.  I made it for my mother-in-law when she was recovering from pneumonia.  You can make this with chicken, beef or lamb.  It can be served over noodles, gnocchi or rice.   Don’t wait until someone is sick to try this recipe!

Made with chicken and served with buttered noodles

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 pounds skinless chicken thighs, beef chuck or stew lamb, cut into large chunks, 2 inch by 2 inch (don’t cut the chicken thighs)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 6 carrots, peeled and cut into medium chunks ( 1 inch) do not use baby carrots, they are bitter when cooked
  • 1 bunch celery cut into medium chunks (you want to recognize it as celery after it has simmered)
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with juice, 15 ounce
  • Generous amounts of fresh herbs, chopped:
    • 1 tablespoon rosemary
    • 2 tablespoons fresh sage (1/2 as much if dried)
    • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme (1/2 as much if dried)
    • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 1.5 cups dry white wine (use red wine is using beef)
  • 1.5 cups chicken stock (use beef stock is using beef)
  • 1 can cannelini beans (white kidney beans), drained, 15 ounce

In a large skillet add the olive oil and heat on medium high.  Salt and pepper meat to your own taste and add to olive oil.  Sear meat on all sides and remove to a plate.  Add more oil if needed.  Add onion and stir until pan is deglazed.  Add carrots, celery and garlic. Saute until soft, about 5 minutes.  Sprinkle flour over the vegetables and stir until incorporated.  Add diced tomatoes and juice.  Stir until pan is deglazed.  Add the fresh herbs and add back the seared meat.  Pour the wine and broth over the meat and vegetables.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer uncovered for one hour, turning meat occasionally.  Add more broth if needed.  Stir in the white beans and simmer for another 20 to 30 minutes.

Serve in large soup plates over rice, noodles or gnocchi.

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