Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Slow Cooker Chicken Stew with Sausage, White Beans, and Spinach

In this world, there are soup lovers and soup haters.  I'm 100% a soup lover.  Always have been.  I just love the way it warms you from the inside out and makes a stressful day melt away.  Few foods can do that.  I mean, ice cream can help with stress, but it definitely isn't warming :-)

If stress is the issue, which would be understandable as the holiday season ramps up, let the slow cooker take the heat for you.  House full of hungry relatives over Thanksgiving weekend?  No problem.  A bowl of this stew served with a slice of homemade bread, like my no-knead country bread, will satisfy them all.  Heck, I bet you could even use some of your leftover turkey in place of the chicken.


Slow Cooker Chicken Stew with Sausage, White Beans, and Spinach
slightly adapted from America's Test Kitchen Slow Cooker Revolution
seen on Pink Parsley

Ingredients:
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-in. cubes
1 TBSP olive oil
1 lb. Italian sausage links (mild or spicy)
2 large onions, minced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 TBSP tomato paste
2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp. dried)
2 tsp. chopped fresh oregano (or 1/2 tsp. dried)
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/3 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. dry white wine
4 c. low-sodium chicken broth, plus more as desired
2 bay leaves
2 (15-oz) cans cannellini (white) beans, drained and rinsed
8 oz. fresh or frozen baby spinach (about 8 c. fresh)
shaved Parmesan or Pecorino cheese, for serving

Directions:
1.  Season the chicken well with salt and pepper, and transfer to the slow cooker.

2.  Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and brown the sausage about 1-2 minutes per side.  (It won't be cooked through but will finish in the slow cooker.)  Transfer to a cutting board until cool enough to handle, then slice into 1-inch slices.  Add to the slow cooker.

3.  Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from pan and add onions.  Cook, stirring often, until onions are softened and lightly browned, 5-8 minutes.

4.  Stir in the garlic, tomato paste, thyme, oregano, and red pepper flakes.  Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Stir in the flour and cook 1 minute more.

5.  Slowly whisk in wine, scraping up any browned bits from the pan.  Whisk in 1 cup of the broth, smoothing out any lumps.  Transfer to slow cooker.

6.  To the slow cooker, add in remaining broth, bay leaves, and beans.  Cover and cook until the chicken and sausage are cooked through, 6-8 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high.

7.  Once cooking time is complete, fish out bay leaves and stir in the spinach.  Cover and cook on high until spinach is wilted and stew is heated through, about 10 minutes.  If the stew is too thick, add more (warmed) broth.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

8.  To serve, ladle into bowls and top with cheese.  Serves 6-8.

4 comments :

That Girl said...

I am definitely a soup lover.

Joanne said...

I am SUCH a soup person! I especially love how it can be healthy comfort food...like the stew. Kind of want to curl up with a bowl of it!

Tiffany @ Life Done Domesti-Cali said...

Mmmm this sounds like a great addition to my " soup season" library!

Tessa said...

This looks so good, and I don't even think I need to go to the store to make it. Sounds like dinner soon!