With winter temperatures in full effect (yes, even in the south), I've had soup/stew/chili on my brain nearly constantly. When my meal plan fell short by one meal last week, I was mentally going through blog posts that I'd saved. I kept coming back to this stew from Josie's blog. I've never made anything from her blog that we didn't all love, so I was sure this one would be a winner, too. I wasn't wrong. Chock full of hearty vegetables, tender chicken, creamy beans and the comfort of quinoa, it was awesome. Will ate a HUGE amount and I'm pretty sure he would have kept on eating it if we'd have let him. The leftovers were of course just as good and I was so happy to put a filling and healthful meal on the table in a pretty quick fashion!
Italian-Style Chicken and Vegetable Quinoa Stew
adapted from Pink Parsley
1 tbsp. olive oil + 1 tsp. olive oil
1 lb.boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed (or boneless skinless chicken breasts)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 onion, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
½ tsp. dried thyme
½ tsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, with their liquid
4 cups chicken broth, plus more as needed
¾ cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 bunch kale, washed and torn into bite-size pieces
1 (15 oz.) can white beans, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp. minced fresh parsley
1 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
1. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Brown them well, about 3 minutes per side. Remove to a bowl and cover.
2. Return pot to the heat and reduce to medium. Add in the 1 teaspoon olive oil (if necessary), then stir in the onion, carrots, and celery. Season with salt and pepper and cook until beginning to soften, 5-7 minutes. Add in the garlic, thyme, oregano, and tomato paste, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute.
3. Add the tomatoes, chicken broth, and quinoa to the pot. Return the chicken thighs, with any accumulated juices, to the pot and nestle the chicken into the liquid. Bring to a gentle boil and then reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes, and quinoa is tender. (Check chicken for doneness, they need to reach 165 degrees internally.) Remove to a bowl and let cool slightly before shredding.
4. Add in the kale, white beans, and parsley. Stir to combine and wilt the kale. Add the shredded chicken back to the pot and cook for about 5 additional minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.