I guess I have a little bit more of this Mediterranean-ness left in me, so bear with me! This stew is decidedly less Greek tasting than some of the other recipes this week so if you’re not that into Greek food, you should still give it a try. Really the only reason that I’m calling it Greek is because it has some chickpeas and I topped it with parsley and feta. Otherwise, it’s just a delicious, tomatoey, chicken stew!
I used chicken thighs for this recipe because they are inexpensive, fairly uniform in size and because they are simmered slowly in the stew. Meat on the bone (read meat with connective tissue) is excellent for cooking long and slow because the connective tissue gelatinizes and you end up with an ultra tender, moist piece of meat. This is the concept behind roast, ribs and other “fall off the bone” tender meats. You can also purchase a whole cut up chicken if you prefer a variety of pieces (thighs, breasts, drumsticks).
If you want to make this recipe more lean, you can either purchase skinless thighs or just use boneless, skinless breasts. Keep in mind, the boneless, skinless breasts are always more expensive and will not give as much flavor to the stew.
Greek Chicken Stew
Greek Chicken Stew
This hearty and delicious Greek Chicken Stew combines tender chicken thighs, chickpeas, and a rich tomato sauce.
- 2 lb 5 pieces chicken thighs $3.23
- 1 med yellow onion $0.89
- 4 cloves garlic $0.09
- 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.10
- to taste salt & pepper $0.05
- 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes $1.08
- 8 oz can tomato sauce $0.32
- 2 whole bay leaves $0.05
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano $0.05
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme $0.05
- 1/2 cup 1/2 bunch chopped fresh parsley $0.25
- 15 oz can chickpeas $0.66
- 2 1/2 oz. feta cheese $1.67
- 2 cups long grain rice $0.60
- 3 tsp 3 cubes bullion $0.29
Rinse the chicken thighs and pat dry. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Heat a large, deep skillet over medium/high heat with 2 Tbsp. of olive oil. The oil is ready when it has a wavy appearance. Cook the chicken pieces on each side until golden brown and crispy (5 min. each side).
While the chicken is browning, dice the onion and garlic. Once the chicken has browned, remove it to a plate and add the onion and garlic to the pan. Cook the onion and garlic until they are soft and transparent (there should be enough oil left plus rendered chicken fat to keep the vegetables from browning).
(If you have some left over wine, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup to the pot with the onions and garlic. Stir and let simmer for one minute to “deglaze” the pan. The wine is optional, the juice from the canned tomatoes will also deglaze the pan in the absence of wine.) Add the canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, bay leaves, oregano, thyme and half of the chopped parsley to the pan. Stir well to combine then add the chicken pieces back to the pot. Reduce the heat to low, place a lid on the pan and simmer for 20 minutes.
While the stew simmers, prepare the chicken flavored rice. In a medium pot combine 2 cups of dry long grain rice with 3.5 cups of water and 3 tsp (or 3 cubes) of chicken bullion. Stir slightly. With a lid in place, bring the rice up to a rolling boil. As soon as it hits a full boil, reduce the heat to warm and let sit (without removing the lid) for 30 minutes.
After the stew simmers for 20 minutes, remove the lid, drain the chickpeas and add them to the pot. Continue to simmer for 15 minutes without a lid. Taste test to see if you prefer more salt or pepper.
To plate the stew, place 3/4 cup of rice on a plate and top with the stewed vegetables, some of the liquid and one piece of chicken. Sprinkle with some of the remaining chopped parsley and about 1/2 oz. of crumbled feta cheese.
Step By Step Photos
Rinse the chicken pieces, pat dry and season with salt and pepper.
Brown both sides of the chicken pieces over medium/high heat in a large, deep skillet with 2 Tbsp of olive oil. Watch out for oil splatter!
Remove the chicken from the pan (place on a clean plate) and add the diced onion and garlic. Cook the vegetables until soft and transparent.
Add the canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, bay leaves, oregano, thyme and half of the chopped parsley to the pot with the onions and garlic. Stir to combine.
Add the chicken pieces back into the pot and nestle them down into the stew. Reduce the heat to low, add a lid and let simmer for 20 minutes. Begin cooking the chicken flavored rice.
After 20 minutes of simmering, remove the lid, add the drained chickpeas and continue to simmer for 15 minutes.
Plate thew stew by laying down a bed of rice and topping with a heaping spoon of stewed vegetables with sauce and one piece of chicken. Garnish with a sprinkling of fresh parsley and feta cheese.
NOTE: Alternatively, you can cook the rice right in the pot with the chicken and sauce. Just add your two cups of rice to the pot after adding the chicken back into the sauce (step 3). Also add 2 cups of chicken broth (made from the bullion). Bring the mixture up to a simmer then reduce the heat to low and add the lid. Cook for 40 minutes with the lid in place so the rice can steam. Additional simmering without the lid is not needed because the rice will soak up most of the liquid.