Chicken Stew

It’s hard to beat a hearty stew when it comes to comfort food. And with winter just around the corner, there aren’t many better dishes to dive into on a cold winter’s night.

When most people think about stew, beef usually comes to mind. I know that’s the way it is for me. But the recent chicken stew we had recently just may make me change my opinion about that.

We had a pile of leftover smoked chicken in the refrigerator the other day, so I went in search of a stew recipe. And what I found compares favorably with any of the beef or venison stew recipes we’ve tried over the years.

An interesting ingredient in this chicken stew is rutabaga, one of my favorite veggies. The yellow root vegetable is a staple in my homemade vegetable beef soup, but I’ve never considered in a stew. The stew also contains corn, peas, potatoes and carrots, but it’s the rutabaga that sets this dish apart from other recipes.

Chicken Stew
1 roasting chicken, about 4 to 5 pounds, cut up
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1½ cups water
½ cup sherry or broth
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon pepper
8 to 10 small white onions, halved
1 cup fresh or frozen green peas
1 cup sliced carrots
½ cup diced turnip or rutabaga
1 cup diced potatoes
½ cup fresh or frozen corn
1/3 cup flour mixed with ½ cup cool water to form a paste
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or heavy pot. Add the chicken pieces; brown on all sides. Add water, sherry, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes.
Add onions, peas, carrots, turnip, potatoes and corn; cover and simmer for another 35 to 45 minutes.
Stir in the flour and water mixture; continue cooking until stew is thickened, about 10 minutes. Serve over rice, if desired.
Yield: Serves 6.