Stew – whether it’s chicken, beef, fish, or vegetable – always makes the list of the most scrumptious comfort foods. Basically, stewing is a slow, low-heat cooking process that never rises above the boiling temperature for water (which is somewhere around 212 degrees Fahrenheit).
Stewing brings out savory flavors and aromas from a delectable combination of chunks of meat that melt in your mouth, a variety of wholesome vegetables, and the best herbs and spices.
But like my other healthy recipes, to make it even better, I added a little twist to this chicken stew recipe. Check it out.
- 2 whole organic chickens, cut into pieces
- 2 cups white wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 3 tablespoons organic butter
- 2 cups coconut flour
- 2 teaspoons each sea salt and pepper
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 4 to 5 sprigs thyme, chopped
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon dried black peppercorns, crushed
- 1 medium cauliflower cut into florets or ½ medium cabbage, sliced
- 1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
- 2 medium onions
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
- Marinate the chicken pieces in the wine vinegar for four to 12 hours.
- Remove chicken from marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Reserve marinade.
- On a plate, mix flour, salt, and pepper.
- Melt coconut oil in large casserole dish.
- Cover chicken in flour mixture and brown on both sides in coconut oil over medium heat, just a few at a time, reserving on a plate.
- Pour out browning fat and melt three tablespoons butter in the casserole.
- Add ¾ cup of the flour mixture and cook, stirring constantly, for several minutes, until flour becomes slightly browned.
- Add white wine vinegar marinade and chicken stock to casserole, stirring often.
- Bring to a boil and skim.
- Add thyme, peppercorns, lemon zest, and chicken pieces to pot. Cover and bake at 325°F for about two hours.
- Add the cauliflower or cabbage to the casserole about 40 minutes before serving.
- Meanwhile, sauté the sliced mushrooms in two tablespoons coconut oil.
- Peel the onions and sauté them gently in coconut oil for about 20 minutes.
- Directly before serving, add mushrooms and onions to the casserole, and stir in chopped parsley.
This recipe makes eight servings.
(Adapted from Healthy Recipes for Your Nutritional Type)
Chicken Stew Cooking Tips
For a steaming bowl of palate-satisfying and soul-soothing chicken stew, follow these cooking tips:
- Ensure the quality of the animal products that you're going to use. Get your chicken and butter from reputable sources that allow their animals to roam freely and forage for their natural food all throughout their lifetime. Make sure that they do not inject or introduce harmful antibiotics or chemical hormones in an effort to make the animals bigger or yield more milk. I highly recommend using raw unpasteurized butter made from grass-fed cows' milk and preferably certified organic free-range chicken.
- Steer clear from any kind of product made from animals raised in confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), which keep livestock in crowded, unhealthy, unsanitary, and disease-promoting conditions. Today, nearly 65 billion animals worldwide – including cows, chickens, and pigs – are crammed into CAFOs, which do not only violate almost all ethical animal farming practices, but also make a hotbed for potentially life-threatening diseases.
- Practice proper food handling to avoid cross contamination of potentially disease-causing bacteria like salmonella. Use a separate chopping board when cutting meats and vegetables. In addition, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) advises to properly handle and cook chicken to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Instead of wine, opt for a non-alcohol substitute. Many chicken stew recipes require red or white wine, but I suggest that you use a healthy alcohol-free substitute instead like white wine vinegar, or lemon juice, which also provides that signature tangy flavor to your dish and that deglazing effect to the pan. If you wish to use lemon juice, dilute it in equal parts of water to reduce its overpowering taste. I also suggest adding chicken or vegetable stock to add extra depth and flavor to your chicken stew.1
- Sear meat and vegetables before stewing to bring out more intense flavors and to seal in moisture.2
Kitchen Hack: Stews cooked a day in advance and reheated just right before serving time turn out richer and more flavorful.3
Why Is Chicken Stew Good for You?
Organic, free-range chicken makes an excellent source of complete protein, as it contains all eight essential amino acids, which you need to build, maintain, and repair important body tissues like your skin, internal organs, and muscles. Proteins are also crucial components for the optimal function of your immune system and hormones.
Butter, on the other hand, offers both short-term and long-term benefits. Butterfat is 20 percent short- and medium-chain fatty acids, an instant energy source, almost like a carbohydrate, without contributing to the fat levels in your blood. But the wonderful health boons of butter don’t end there. Other sought-after nutrients found in this nourishing ingredient include:
- Lauric acid –exhibits antiviral, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties when converted to monolaurin
- Lecithin – for cholesterol metabolism and nerve health
- Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) – anti-cancer agent, muscle builder, and immunity booster
- Arachidonic acid (AA) – for brain function and healthy cell membranes
- Glycosphingolipids – fatty acids that protect against gastrointestinal (GI) infections
- Wulzen Factor – hormone-like substance that helps prevent arthritis and joint stiffness (It’s not found in pasteurized butter because it’s destroyed by pasteurization)
Raw butter is also a rich source of highly absorbable forms of health-boosting vitamins and minerals, including selenium, manganese, chromium, zinc, copper, iodine, and vitamins A, K2, E, and D. In comparison, butter produced from CAFO milk is nutritionally inferior, as it comes from cows that were fed a genetically engineered (GE) grain-based diet their whole lives, with some fattened up with additional sugar from GE sugar beets and cottonseed.
Because this great-tasting chicken stew recipe uses coconut oil, you’re sure that you’re getting more omega-3 and less omega-6 into your diet, unlike if you use highly processed vegetable oils. In addition, coconut oil is ideal for stewing, as it is far less likely to be damaged during the slow cooking process.
Sources and References
Tags: Crock Pot or Slow Cooker, Fruits and Vegetables, Main Dishes, Poultry