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Irish Chicken Stew

When you think of ‘stew’ most times your mind often thinks about red meat stews, but don’t forget about chicken!  This is a hearty, tasty stew that will warm you up and keep you full for hours.

Ingredients:

For the chicken

  •  1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/3c all purpose flour
  • 2-1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts, trimmed of excess fat
  • olive oil

For the stew:

  • 3 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 c all purpose flour
  • 1-11.5oz guinness beer
  • 1-lb carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2c sliced onion
  • 8oz small cremini mushrooms, halved (optional)
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1-1/2 tsp dried sage
  • 1-1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1-1/3 c chicken broth
  • 2c frozen peas

Method:

  1. Combine flour and seasonings for the chicken in a bowl. Heat a skillet over medium heat with enough olive to lightly oil the bottom of a skillet.  Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture, then place in the skillet.  Brown thoroughly on all sides, remove chicken and place them in the pot you will be cooking your stew in.
  2. Brown bacon in the same skillet, once cooked remove bacon and keep drippings.  Place the bacon in the pot you will be cooking your stew in.
  3. In the drippings, add sliced onion.  Add additional oil if necessary. Cook until soft and translucent.  Add garlic, cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Place onions in soup pot.
  4. In remaining fat, add the flour.  If need be, add a couple more tablespoons of oil to the skillet so it can absorb the flour.  You want to form a roux – a loose paste that will ultimately thicken your stew.  Add more flour or oil if necessary to create the right consistency.  You don’t want a thick paste that bunches up into a ball but you don’t want a thin liquid either.  Ideally if you slide your whisk across the bottom of the pan, the roux will stay separate as the whisk slides through and gradually re-unite. Cook the flour over medium heat until it turns a dark brown.  Stir frequently and watch it – once it browns it isn’t hard to burn it.
  5. Pour in the guinness.  Stir until all the lumps are gone and the alcohol has sizzled off.  Pour the contents into the pot you will be cooking your stew in.
  6. Add the remaining ingredients (except the peas) for the stew and simmer until chicken pieces are falling apart.
  7. Add peas at the end and cook just until they are heated through – about 5 minutes longer.

This was fantastic served over mashed potatoes!

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