Hearty, Healthy Chicken Stew from my Hubby

healthy and hearty chicken stew

People always ask me if I starve to stay thin past 40. The answer is NO WAY! I eat … great food for every meal. I’m a clean eater http://www.eatcleandiet.com/ so that means no unhealthy oils, processed food or hormone laden food. And, I try to shop for food as close to the way God made them as possible.

I luck out in that my husband has completely embraced clean eating AND he’s an amazing cook. People who eat dinner at our house always want to know how they can recreate his kitchen magic, so I thought it might be nice to share his recipes.

So, from my hubby Dave and in his words … healthy, hearty chicken stew

My healthy, hearty chicken stew uses the terrific slow cook benefits of a ceramic crock pot.  I love it because truly, you could put it on in the morning before work and come home to delicious! But, since I started late, it was necessary to use the four hour (hottest) setting and I re-set it during the cooking process for an additional hour and that allowed me to go on a 2 1/2 hour bike ride with my 16-year-old son who is training for a major bike trip this summer from San Francisco to Bloomington.

Here are the Ingredients (and my preferences):

  • Two medium chickens (not broth infused as so many “cheap” brands offer today).  These came in a package of two from Costco.  Since the volume of the pot is limited, cut the chickens in half and then remove and discard the wings and back and as much rib bones as can be easily cut off.  There is very little meat on these areas anyway and the back especially tends to cause a lot of unwanted bones to stay in the mixture after completion.  Also trim off all excess skin and fat areas.  Because, well, who needs it?!
  • One medium to large onion cut as desired.  I cut into eights, but it can be chopped or slivered.
  • Several sticks of celery cut into quarter or half inch pieces.
  • An equal amount of carrots also cut into small pieces.
  • I didn’t have any for this particular dinner, but when I remember to buy them, I throw in a few cut up redskin potatoes.
  • One box of low sodium chicken stock (could also use water or a half and half mixture) – pick a good brand and really read the sodium contents.
  • Season with small amount of salt.  I used a combination of a seasoned sea salt and shallot sea salt.  A few, but decent sprinkles of Herbs de Province, Muriel of Flavor (from www.penzeys.com/), Lawry’s seasoned pepper and a few cranks of Pirate Bite(http://www.spiceandtea.com), a somewhat spicy pepper blend that just seems to add spark to lots of dishes.

I stirred the mixture twice during the cooking cycle (despite manufacturer admonishments to the contrary) and when the cooking was complete, began the process of removing the chicken meat from the bones.

Take each piece from the pot and remove the skin and then using pinchers or fork or any other convenient device, and carefully remove the meat from the bones.  After doing each piece of chicken, return the meat to the mixture and you’re ready for serving.  I need extra calories (yes, that makes my wife JEALOUS) so I serve mine over whole wheat pasta (http://www.dreamfieldsfoods.com/ ).  The cooking time ended up being perfect and the chicken was easy to remove but remained firm.  Overcooking tends to make chicken too soggy and soft.  Plus the veggies were still a little bit firm which is nice.

Prep time – maybe about 30 minutes to clean and cut the chicken and prepare the veggies for the pot.  Add an additional 15 minutes or so to separate the chicken and bones when cooking is complete.

This dinner, which is very filling and very good for you, is extremely cost effective. It served four adult appetites and there was enough left over for probably three or four servings again the next day.  Total cost – less than $15.00. You can’t even do that at a fast food restaurant and it’s unhealthy besides!


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