Easy Chicken Stew

Easy Chicken Stew from Day 6

So here I am on Day 9, going back to work was a bit of a test, especially right at the beginning when I had been off work for a few months.  I dealt with that on the first day back by making some chicken in my slow cooker.  The result was a tasty pulled chicken that I was able to use in two easy meals, that I have to admit I'm a bit bummed that I won't be able to make again for a whole year!

In going back to work and making dinner every night I forgot how late that has us eating, so quick and easy meal utilizing leftovers will likely be a huge part of our weeknight meals for the next few weeks.  I don't generally get home much before 8pm and start dinner immediately, so if a meal takes more than 30 minutes it's a bit of a loser.  That will be my challenge moving forward keeping it quick and easy, planning ahead and utilizing the slow cooker for meals that are ready when we get home.  I don't generally have a problem getting dinner on the table when I'm working, but the big challenge of that now is not repeating meals because I definitely have a few go to meals when we're both working, things that reheat well, can be made in advance and can be kept warm easily if we are getting in at different times.   To add to this challenge, as if it weren't enough on it's own, I am going to try not to eat leftovers exactly as they were originally served.  First off because the boy doesn't love leftovers and I like the added of challenge of try to reinvent them, something my father is so good at and I think I can do pretty well too.

Bacon, Egg & Cheddar Sandwich from Day 7

Anyway, Here's the rundown of what I had the last few days:

Day 6 - Jan 12 - Easy Chicken Stew - recipe below

Day 7 - Jan 13 - Bacon, Egg and Cheddar Sandwich with Raspberry Balsamic Jam - sounds odd but was so amazingly delicious but I am obsessed with sweet and savoury together

Slow Cooker Chicken
makes 4 cups

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts - can easily sub all thighs, all breasts will be a bit too dry
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 cups or more chicken stock or low sodium chicken broth
4 thyme sprigs
1 rosemary sprig
2 flat leaf parsley sprigs
1 bay leaf
20 black peppercorns

1.  Place chicken in the bottom of the slow cooker, cover with stock, adding more if necessary.  Tied herbs together with kitchen twine and place with peppercorns into slow cooker.
2.  Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.  Remove the chicken and shred.  Use some and store the rest.  Strain the herbs and spiced out of the cooking liquid and reserve for use in Easy Chicken Stew.

Easy Chicken Stew from Day 6

Easy Chicken Stew
Serves 3-4

1 carrot - sliced
1 rib celery - sliced
1 small onion - diced
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups reserved cooking liquid from slow cooker chicken - can substitute stock
1 large Yukon Gold Potato - diced to 1 inch cubed
3 Tbsps unsalted butter - room temperature
3 Tbsps unbleached all-purpose flour
10 fresh brussel sprouts - washed and tough outer leaves removed
1-2 cups shredded slow cooker chicken or shredded leftover chicken
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper

1.  In a large pot heat a olive oil over medium heat.  Saute carrot, celery & onion for 5 minutes until onion becomes translucent and carrot begins to soften.  Pour in stock and reserved cooking liquid.  Add in potatoes and bring to a boil.  Cook until potatoes are tender, about 10-15 minutes.
2.  In a small bowl mix together butter and flour to form a paste.  Whisk into boiling liquid to thicken. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt & pepper.
3.  Add in chicken and brussel sprouts, let simmer until sprouts are cooked, about 5-10 minutes. Serve.

So far so good, but I am only on Day 9 and I know we are going out for dinner tonight.  Now I just have to get on menu planning for next week!