Day 27: Chicken & White Bean Stew with Pesto

Pesto+Chicken+Bowl+2 Day 27: Chicken & White Bean Stew with Pesto

Except that I can’t eat any. I’m having a minor test done tomorrow, which means I can only ingest clear fluids for 24 hours. Me! Going without food for 24 hours! Plus however much time I spend at the hospital tomorrow afternoon, which I’m sure will seem far longer on an empty stomach.

So, planning to spend a full Sunday out of the kitchen (very unusual for me), I made a batch of chicken stew with pesto yesterday for Mike and W. If I didn’t work in the food world, and had just a few go-to dinner recipes in my repertoire, this would be one of them. If I was one of those Moms who made meals on rotation – meatloaf Mondays, spaghetti Tuesdays, pork chop Wednesdays, and so on, this would definitely make the cut. Willem loves it (possibly on account of the pesto, which he seems to be in love with), and so do Mike and I. For some reason it turns out creamier tasting than it should, and is far more interesting than the sum of its (veg, legumes and skinless chicken or turkey) parts. Plus, it’s another one of those meals that’s freezable or keeps well in the fridge; ideal for dipping in to all week long. And because it’s all in one pot yet isn’t runny like soup, it makes a perfect portable lunch. If when it cools down you divide it into individual freezable containers, you can pull one out in the morning and by lunch it will be partially thawed – still cold enough to be safe, but with a head start on the reheating process.

I have to stop talking about food and go read a book or something to distract myself. Maybe I’ll open up A Stew or a Story, an assortment of short works by M.F.K. Fisher. If I can’t eat food, I can at least read about it…

Chicken & White Bean Stew with Pesto

Canola or olive oil, for cooking with
1 large onion, chopped
1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken thighs or turkey breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3 big cloves of garlic, crushed
½ tsp. ground cumin
1 19 oz. (540 mL) can white kidney or navy beans, drained
1 can chicken broth
a few drops of Tabasco or a pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
Salt & pepper to taste
1/4 cup (or a couple of big spoonfuls) basil or sun-dried tomato pesto
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)

Heat a drizzle of oil in a large pot set over medium heat. Cook the onion and chicken pieces for about 5 minutes, until the onions are starting to brown and the chicken is opaque. Add the celery, carrots, and red pepper and cook for a few more minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the garlic and cumin and cook for another minute.

Add the beans, chicken broth, Tabasco and some salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat down to low, cover and let cook for about 45 minutes.

Stir in the pesto and serve topped with Parmesan cheese. Serves 4-6, or 2-3 with leftovers. It doubles easily if you want to make a bigger batch.

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January 27 2008 09:05 pm | beans and chicken & turkey and freezable and one dish and slow cooker and stews & braises

9 Responses to “Day 27: Chicken & White Bean Stew with Pesto”

  1. Theresa on 28 Jan 2008 at 11:04 am #

    What kind of chicken broth do you use if you don’t have your own home-made stuff?

  2. dinner with Julie » Day 73: Roasted Salmon with Pesto on 13 Mar 2008 at 7:02 pm #

    [...] have normally had a bottle of in the fridge even a year ago. But since discovering the Pesto, White Bean & Chicken Stew, and that Willem loves it, I now have a jar in the fridge most of the time. It’s easy to [...]

  3. dinner with Julie » Day 83: Cornish hens/potatoes and peas/rotini/eggs and toast on 24 Mar 2008 at 7:26 am #

    [...] it’s to imitate Bugs Bunny (in which case he only bites off the tip anyway) or cooked into Chicken, White Bean & Pesto Stew, which is loaded with veg and was always our saviour on days when we ate Big Salads and other [...]

  4. dinner with Julie » Day 109: Too much to list on 19 Apr 2008 at 10:01 am #

    [...] and W had pesto chicken stew and bison chili for dinner. Freezers were the best invention ever. (Besides Spanx, of [...]

  5. donna on 17 Feb 2009 at 9:42 am #

    Julie,
    Sorry for bothering you but I have looked everywhere rather desparately I might add through your files as I really want to find the recipie that you shared with us that was Thai Chicken in the crock pot with the peanutbutter and lime juice. I can’t seem to find it anywhere do you think I was imagining this?

  6. JulieVR on 17 Feb 2009 at 11:16 am #

    Nope, I know exactly what you’re talking about! It had salsa in it too, right? OK, I’m on the hunt for it too!

  7. Dora Kostelnick on 12 Jul 2011 at 3:47 am #

    this capabilities widely-used therefore to their entire capacity. SolidWorks,

  8. Yves on 03 Nov 2011 at 9:22 pm #

    Love this stew!

  9. Alana Backer on 03 Feb 2014 at 6:42 pm #

    Just made this tonight for dinner (used the sun dried tomato pesto) and it was a hit, kids loved it ….. make my mom’s homemade dumpling recipe on top didn’t hurt!

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