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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Cider Apple Chicken Stew

As our fall party approached a few weeks ago, I wanted a new fall-themed recipe for the main dish.  Something that used seasonal foods such as apples, squash and fall spices.  I found a recipe online, and modified it with my own ingredients.  I also changed it into a crock pot recipe, so I could throw everything together and let it cook throughout the afternoon.  My husband was a bit suspicious about the ingredients ("Are people going to like this?!"), but it was well liked by everyone who tried it.  It is definitely something I'd make again.

2 tablespoons cooking oil
3 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into cubes
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup chopped onion (or use 1 cup of pearl onions)
1 cup chopped turnips
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 stalk celery, sliced
4 potatoes, cut into cubes
4 carrots, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 cup of cooked, mashed winter squash or pumpkin
3 apples - peeled, cored and chopped
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock, or more if needed
2 cups apple cider
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
2 tablespoons dried parsley

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat; cook the chicken in the hot oil until it has begun to brown.  Transfer to a large crock pot.

Add the bay leaves, salt, thyme, cinnamon, black pepper, onion, turnip, garlic, celery, potatoes, carrots, squash, apples, chicken stock, apple cider, cider vinegar and parsley to the pot. There should be enough liquid to just cover the vegetables. If not, add more stock to cover the vegetables.

Stir everything together, cover and cook on high heat for about 4 hours, or low heat for up to 8 hours. Remove the bay leaves and serve.

*Note: I've also done this as a vegan version, by adding in a can of chickpeas instead of the chicken and using vegetable stock, and it was just as good.