This stew will definitely warm you up on a cold winter night! You’ll need to crack open a bottle of red wine to make the base, so sipping on the rest of the bottle ought to keep you toasty too 🙂
I absolutely love my Le Creuset dutch oven because it allows me to start cooking this recipe on the stove, and finish it in the oven. Most quality cookware can be used both on the stove and in the oven, but before trying it, be sure yours is suitable for such use.
Hearty Winter Stew
Yield: 4 dinner servings
Time: 45 minutes active; 2 hours 15 minutes total
1 lb. bacon
1 lb (16 oz) cooked Andouille sausage
3 breasts of chicken, cut into 1-inch chunks
28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
1¼ cups red wine (whatever you like to drink)
4 cups chicken stock
3 cloves garlic, finely diced
2 onions, coarsely chopped
5 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
3 – 15 oz cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
6 tbsp. butter, melted
1 cup Italian style breadcrumbs
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
2. Cook bacon in dutch oven over medium-high heat until cooked through. Set aside to cool. Once cooled, chop into 1-inch pieces. Wipe out all bacon fat (unless of course, you prefer to cook the onions and garlic in the bacon fat, then just omit the EVOO in step 2).
3. Sauté onions and garlic in 2 tbsp. EVOO in the dutch oven over medium-high heat until browned (about 5-8 minutes). Set aside.
4. Place chicken and 2 tbsp. EVOO in the dutch oven. Cook over medium heat until the outer surfaces of the chicken is lightly browned (about 10 minutes). Add the Andouille sausage and meat over medium-low heat for 3 minutes.
5. Stir in the carrots; add in the sautéed onions and garlic. Pour in the red wine, chicken stock, cannellini beans, bacon, salt, and pepper.
6. Coarsely purée the tomatoes. (A time-saving trick I just learned is to insert an immersion blender directly into the can of whole tomatoes!) Add the puréed tomatoes to the dutch oven. Put in the oven and cook for 30 minutes to 1 hour at 350ºF with the lid on (or covered in foil).
7. Combine melted butter, breadcrumbs, basil, and ¾ cup parsley. Sprinkle over the top of the stew. Cook, uncovered, for another 60 minutes. (The first time I made this stew, I was hoping the breadcrumb/herb mixture would brown on the top, forming a nice crust. It didn’t. The breadcrumbs sunk into the stew, and instead helped to develop a rich, hearty flavor. It turned into a pleasant surprise and I now always add the breadcrumbs to the top, expecting that they’ll drop into the stew.)
8. Garnish with the remaining ¼ cup parsley when serving.