Chicken Stew with Apples and Bacon

Monday, 27 Oct 2008

I started out with this Chicken Stew with Cider and Parsnips recipe from Food and Wine.  I made quite a few changes, some based on ingredient availability, some based on preference.

Ingredient changes:

-Halved the quantities to make 2 servings instead of 4.

-Used 3 cut-up chicken breasts instead of thighs and drumsticks.

-Added 4 chopped strips of bacon to add flavor and prevent dryness since white meat was used instead of dark meat.

-Used chopped apples instead of parsnips because it’s what I had on hand.

-Used 1/2 cup white wine instead of apple cider because it’s what I had on hand.  I reduced the total amount of liquid by about 1/4 cup to account for using apples, which release some water as they cook.

-Added 1 clove of minced garlic and 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary.

Process changes:

-My first step was to cook the bacon in the stew pot until crispy.  I then removed it from the pan and used the drippings to brown the  chicken pieces, and then removed the chicken from the pan.

-Next, I cooked the onions, garlic, carrots and apples in the pan for 3-4 minutes before adding the liquid.  I think I should have let them cook a little longer at this stage, particularly the carrots.  They were still a little undercooked when the rest of the stew was ready.

-At this point I added the white wine and then the chicken broth, and the thyme and rosemary, and simmered the mixture for 10 minutes, then put the chicken and bacon back in, and cooked it in the oven for 10 minutes.  It could have done with more time for the vegetables to cook and the liquid to reduce a little more, but the chicken was done after ten minutes and I didn’t want it to be overcooked.

I served this over white rice.  The bacon added what the chicken breasts left wanting as far as flavor and richness.  This turned out to be a flavorful and satisfying meal.

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