Saturday, November 30, 2013

Slow-Cooked Italian Chicken Stew


Greetings!

It's been too long since I've posted a new recipe. Waaay too long. As I mentioned yesterday, I've been super-antsy about getting back in the kitchen. What started out as a simple soup intended to use up some leftover rotisserie chicken and zucchini, ended up being an all-day labor of love. I take that back, it wasn't really a laborious process. The all-day part was mostly just simmering, no real kitchen action. The long, slow simmer really paid off though, the hubby said this is one of the best soups I've made.

I have another secret that really made this a flavorful dish. A couple of month's ago, the hubby and I had lamb chops. I saved the cooked lamb bones in the freezer, determined to use them for something. Well, yesterday I found a good use. I dropped a couple of bones in the soup while it slowly simmered all day, and simply discarded them upon finishing the dish. The meaty flavor from the bones really brought complexity to an otherwise simple broth. You can bet I'll be saving and freezing more bones in the future!

A side note- This is perfect for a cold, winter evening. I served a crusty french baguette with the soup, and there wasn't a drop left in my bowl. The hubby had seconds!

It's good to be back in the kitchen :)


Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 cup carrot, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp tomato paste
5 cups chicken broth
1 (15 oz) can of diced tomatoes
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tsp ground thyme
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
3 small lamb chop bones
1 cup zucchini, diced
1/2 cup ditalini (pasta)
1 cup cooked chicken, chopped
parmesan cheese (garnish)

Directions:

1. In a large stockpot, heat olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add onion, carrot, and celery. Saute for about 5 minutes, or until tender. Add garlic to the pan, cook for 1 minute.
2. Add tomato paste to the pot. Stir until tomato paste has dispersed. Add chicken broth and diced tomatoes to pan. Add dried basil through crushed red pepper to the pot. Bring mixture to a boil. Once boiling, add lamb bones. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Simmer gently for 3 hours.
3. Remove cover. Stir soup gently. Simmer very gently (we are talking very little bubbling here) for another 2 hours. Add zucchini, simmer for another hour. Remove lamb bones from pot, discard. Add ditalini and chicken, simmer for 8 minutes. Remove pot from heat. Serve immediately, topped with parmesan cheese.

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