Slow-Cooker (or not) Chicken Stew
This rich, creamy stew takes inspiration from Chicken and Wild Rice Stew but uses quick-cooking quinoa to make this an adaptable weeknight-friendly meal. Smarts: If you're short on time, feel free to skip Make Step #3 which thickens the soup (though we think you'll find it worth the extra effort!).
- Quinoa, uncooked - 3/4 cup
- Stock, any type - 1 1/2 cups
Creamy Chicken and Quinoa Stew:
- Baby carrots - 1/2 lb , sliced
- Onions, medium - 1/2 , chopped
- Garlic - 2 cloves , chopped
- Mushrooms, any button - 6 oz , chopped (look for pre-chopped to save time)
- Chicken breasts, bone-in and skinless - 1 lb
- Green onions - 2 stalks , chopped, green and white parts separate
- Stock, any type - 3 cups
- Beer, any dark variety (sub stock) - 1 cup
- Adobo sauce (usually found with canned chipotle peppers) - 1 Tbsp
- Thyme, dried - 1 tsp
- Salt - 1/2 tsp
- Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
- Corn kernels, frozen - 1/2 cup
- Cooked quinoa (ingredients listed separately) - ~1 1/4 cup
- Butter (opt) - 1 Tbsp
- Flour, all-purpose (opt) - 2 Tbsp
- Milk (opt) - 1/2 cup
- Lemon juice - 1 tsp
- Bread, small baguette or other crusty bread (opt) - 1
- Make quinoa - Double if making Tuesday's meal. Combine quinoa with stock and a pinch of salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil covered. Lower heat, keep covered, and cook until liquid is absorbed, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat when finished to prevent burning / sticking. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Carrots / Onions / Garlic - Prep as directed and combine. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Mushrooms / Chicken - Chop mushrooms (skip if you bought pre-chopped mushrooms). Season chicken with some salt and pepper and tenderize with a fork. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
- Green onions - Chop green onions. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
- Slow-cook stew - Combine carrots, onions, garlic, mushrooms and chicken in the bowl of a slow-cooker. Pour stock, beer and adobo sauce over top. Add thyme, salt and black pepper and stir to combine. Cook on low 7 to 8 hours (3 to 4 hours on high). (Note: If you prefer not to use the slow-cooker, you can also brown the chicken with some oil in a Dutch oven. Set chicken aside and add vegetables to pan. Saute until vegetables begin to soften. Add chicken, stock, beer, adobo sauce, thyme, salt and black pepper. Simmer on low-medium until vegetables are tender and chicken is cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.)
- When chicken is cooked through, use a fork and knife to shred chicken right in the slow-cooker. Remove bones from the soup.
- Add corn and cooked quinoa (remember to reserve half the quinoa if doubled for Tuesday) to the slow-cooker. Continue cooking to thaw corn.
- [Optional step]: If you’d like a more creamy stew, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour. Let the mixture simmer until it begins to darken, 3 to 4 minutes. Slowly add milk, while whisking. Continue to whisk mixture over heat until it is creamy and smooth. Stir into stew.
- Stir lemon juice into stew (skip this step if you made a creamy soup). Taste and season with some salt and pepper, if needed.
- Divide stew between bowls and top with green onions. Serve with crusty bread, if you'd like. Enjoy!