October 7, 2009

Chicken Bean Artichoke Stew

The first version of this recipe was an experiment that turned out surprisingly well (unlike the greenbean cornbread that my family and friends won’t let me forget!) Even my husband liked it, and he’s hard to please with anything even vaguely healthy. After several more tweaks, the below version stood out above the rest. The processed marinated artichoke hearts are essential, since they add a characteristic flavor that might surprise you. The beans and lentils are mix and match, use whatever kind you like. The artichoke bottoms aren’t necessary, but I like putting them in for an added vegetable – diced and cooked soft, my six-year-old son can’t tell they’re in there. The best tool to use for dicing them is the Chop Wizard, one of the few gizmos I’ve tried and found to be indispensable in my kitchen. My son, who normally refuses to eat vegetables, WILL eat this stew and ask for more, and even leftovers get eaten.

Toss the following into your crock pot (or in a pot on the stove if you’re in a hurry) and enjoy a tangy, hearty and healthy meal:

1 store-bought rotisserie chicken, pull all meat off and cut into bite-sized chunks directly into the pot (add some skin, too, for flavor)

1 can artichoke bottoms, drained and diced

1 small jar marinated artichoke hearts, pour entire contents into food processor or blender and process until smooth

3-4 cans of any kind of bean (lentil, red, black, pinto) mix and match, drained and rinsed

1 32 oz. container chicken broth

This is my signature dish, the one I’m asked to bring to every potluck, picnic and family dinner. I hope you like it!

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