Its the first day of the New Year – and everyone is busy tossing out Christmas leftovers and buying workout gear. I actually did a pretty decent job this year of not engaging in seasonal glutttony – I did have a LOT of Christmas cookies, but my Fitbit kept me honest and I did a lot of walking between the cooking and snacking. I am working on eating cleaner and making better choices but it is still winter and warm savory food is what we are craving, not salads and rice cakes! I made this tonight for dinner and it it is both delicious and healthy. There are two ways to make it – either prepare in a stock pot on on the stove top and it will be ready in an hour or so, or take 20 minutes in the morning to prepare and let it cook in the crock pot all day. I baked some biscuits to go with this savory stew and it was the perfect way to kick off the new year.
1 pound package fresh chicken breast tenders
1/2 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped garlic (I used one the glass jar fron the produce section of the grocery store)
1 1/2 cups mini peeled carrots
1 10.8 ounce package frozen peas
4 ribs celery, coarsley chopped
1 can cream of chicken soup, plus one can water
1/2 to 3/4 cup chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon sage
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
Combine carrots, peas, celery, soup, stock, spices and stock in large stockpot over medium heat. Meanwhile, chop chicken into 1 1/2 inch chunks and toss into large saute pan with olive oil, onions and garlic. Cook over medium heat 15-20 minutes until chicken and onions are browned. Add to stock pot and cook, stirring occassionally for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until vegetables are tender.
Crock Pot make ahead version: Add carrots, peas, celery, soup , stock and spices to crock pot. Cook chicken mixture as directed above and add to crock pot. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or until vegetables are fork tender.