Chicken stew is one of the heartiest, most comforting meals. My kids have always loved it, and these days they frequently ask for it so they can take the leftovers in a thermos for lunch. Unlike beef, chicken does not need a long, slow braise to be nice and tender, which is why you can actually prepare this dish in 30 minutes. And here’s a tip: you can even make this in 20 minutes if you brown the chicken and chop the vegetables ahead of time; just grab them from the fridge at mealtime and you’ll be dishing up dinner in less time than it takes to have pizza delivered.
Cut the chicken into two inch pieces.
In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add olive oil.
Put flour and a little salt and pepper in a small plastic bag. Add the chicken about four pieces at a time, twist the bag closed and shake so that the chicken is lightly coated with flour.
Add the coated chicken pieces to the pot, being sure not to overcrowd them as they won’t brown.
Brown them for about 4 minutes in total, turning once or twice. Remove browned chicken to a clean dish if you need to make room for more pieces.
While chicken browns, chop vegetables.
Return chicken to pot (if necessary) once all has been browned.
Add onion to the pot and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often.
Add chicken stock, thyme and potatoes to pot. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
Add carrots, zucchini and beans to pot. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
Combine water and cornstarch in a small bowl. Drizzle into pot and stir gently to combine well. Let mixture cook, uncovered, for 2 minutes until slightly thickened.
Serve in broad bowls with spoons or crusty bread so no gravy gets left behind.
Makes 4 – 6 servings.