Chunky Skinny Chicken Stew
The days are shorter and the cold weather has set in. It is time to take out the slow cooker to make stews and soups to keep us warm in the wintry days. Winter makes one hungry, too. I find that I have to eat more, perhaps we need more energy. Hearty soups and stews are always welcomed.
As a weight-watcher, I am constantly reminded to be in control of my food intake. So I have made this stew to be filling, healthy and low in calories, too. If you do not want to have so much vegetables to bulk it up, you can cut down on the vegetables and adjust the water and seasoning.
I like my soups and stews to be rather thin and runny – typical Chinese style. The Chinese like their soups consommé style, with a light and clear ( Cheng or Ching ) taste.
If you prefer your stew to be thick, and do not wish to add extra calories, you just take out some of the vegetables and blitz it with a hand blender and, presto!, you have a thick soup.
I also like to add spices to my stews. My favourite spices for stews are cinnamon, which gives a warm feeling and star anise which gives a sweet flavour and scent. I have added paprika as well to give the orangey colour that looks appetising.
Serves: 4 with accompaniments
Cost : £
Time: 15 mins to prepare, 4-5 hours to cook
Pro points 7 per serving (4 servings)
500g Chicken thighs – boneless and skinless, cut into chunks
400g Swede – cut into chunks
400g Carrots – cut into chunks
4 sticks Celery – cut into chunks
1 Red pepper – remove seeds and cut into chunks
1 Large Onions –cut into chunks
2 Cloves Garlic – finely chopped
½ tbsp Corn flour
3 pod Cardamom pods – cracked, extract the seeds and crush
1 tbsp Light soy sauce
1 tsp White pepper corns -crushed
2 tsp Paprika powder
2 Star Anise
1 stick Cinnamon – about 15 cm
500ml Hot water
You will need a slow cooker or crock pot.
1. Season the chicken with salt and the white pepper and corn flour, Set aside while you prepare the vegetables,
2. In a large frying pan, spray with low calorie control spray and put on medium heat.
3. Sear the chicken pieces until lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes. Turn over and sear the other side.
4. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and place into the slow cooker.
5. Brown the root vegetables in batches with the remaining oil and jus in the pan. Remove and place on top of the chicken in the crock pot. Repeat until all the vegetables are done.
6. Then lightly brown the garlic and de-glaze the pan with some water. Bring to the boil and add to the crock pot.
7. Add the rest of the ingredients and enough hot water to cover the ingredients, about 500 ml.
8. Switch the crock pot to high and leave it for at least 3-4 hours.
9. When done, season with more salt and pepper to taste.
10. The warm orangey stew looks appetising and it is soo… fragrant!
The soup tastes great on its own. However you might want to consider the following suggestions:
Suggestion no 1
If you are on a low sodium diet, there is no need to add extra salt. The stew is very sweet and can be consumed on its own.
Suggestion No 2
For a thicker stew base, remove some or all of the vegetables and blitz it to get a smooth purée. Tip it back into the pot.
Suggestion No 3
If you are a busy parent or worker and need a hot soup/stew ready when you come home, you can prepare the stew in the morning and set it to low. Just remember to let it cook on low for at least 5 hours. When you return from work or shopping, you have this lovely stew waiting to be enjoyed. Just make sure that you use hot water when preparing the stew. This will make the crock pot and the content heat up faster.