Monday, March 21, 2011

Tuscan Chicken and Bean Stew

Keeping with the theme of cheap, easy and healthy, I bring to you this delish stewie soup recipe.

Tuscan Chicken and Bean Stew
Serves 4 -6

1 cup navy or cannelloni beans, dried (or 19 oz can)
2 slices bacon, diced
1 large onion, diced
3/4lb chicken breast, bone in, skin removed
4 cups water
2 tsp dried rosemary and thyme
28 oz. can diced tomatoes
salt and pepper as necessary
1 pk or 5 nuggets frozen spinach or 4 cups fresh chopped (as much as you want, use Kale or Swiss Chard if you're feeling frisky!)
1/2 cup or so of grated parmesan cheese for serving.

Soak the beans overnight covered in water if using dried. Drain and set aside.
Heat bacon in a large soup pot over medium heat. Cook until just crispy. Remove from pot and set aside
Toss onions in pot with bacon fat. Cook until soft and browned
Add in Chicken breast and brown on all sides
Add in beans, water, rosemary and thyme and simmer until the chicken is cooked through (20 - 30 minutes) (this makes a chicken broth which is why I used just plain water)
Remove chicken and tear chicken off the bone. Return the chicken to the pot
Check beans, making sure they are tender. Don't add tomatoes until the beans are as soft as you want them. (the acid in the tomatoes will stop the cooking process for the beans)
Add in the tomatoes. Check the taste and salt and pepper as necessary.
Simmer 10 minutes
Add in the spinach and heat through or until wilted.
Serve each bowl topped with a good shake of parmesan cheese.


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