It’s safe to say if therapy came in the form of food, it’d be this stew. It’s delicious and hearty, and you can make it with simple ingredients in one single pot.
Healthy Chicken Stew
I remember making this chicken stew for the first time and sharing it with friends; after the first spoonful, you could feel it’s soothing effects on everyone. Of course, this is one recipe everyone asks for!
Best of all, this recipe is made with simple ingredients that you probably already have on hand. Right now, I’ve really been focusing on using up all the things I have in my pantry & freezer, while making fewer trips to the grocery store.
This stew is the perfect way to use that extra pound of chicken in your freezer. If you’re reading this and want to make it tonight but don’t have defrosted chicken, I have some short cuts that will have that chicken thawed just in time for dinner.
Chicken Stew Ingredients
It doesn’t take complicated ingredients to make this stew delicious, only the pantry staples and basic vegetables and protein from the fridge.
Here’s what you need:
- Olive oil: to sauté the chicken.
- Chicken thighs: for this recipe, I’m using boneless, skinless chicken thighs. The dark meat gives much more flavor and stays tender, but you can swap it for chicken breasts.
- Aromatic veggies: onion, celery, and carrots.
- Potatoes: make this stew more filling and thick.
- Chicken broth: store-bought broth does the job, but this homemade broth recipe is worth it!
- Herbs: thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves.
- Peas: what is a chicken stew without them?
- Half & half: or swap it for coconut or cashew milk to make the recipe dairy-free.
You’ll find the measurements in the recipe card below.
How to Make Chicken Stew
I have a lot of chicken recipes on this website and this is, by far, is one of my favorites. The savory, broth is full of tender chicken, potatoes, and veggies – I want a bowl just talking about it!
So how do you make it?
- Heat oil
In a large dutch oven or soup pot heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Add the chicken
Add the chicken and sauté for 2 -3 minutes until the chicken is browned. Once the chicken pieces are browned, remove them from the pot and set aside in a separate dish. If you are starting with frozen, follow these instructions to defrost the chicken before you begin.
- Sauté the veggies
Heat a little more oil and add the onions, carrots, and celery. Sauté for about 3 minutes, until softened and golden brown. Add the seasonings, salt, pepper, potatoes, chicken broth, water, and chicken pieces.
Bring the stew to a boil before reducing the heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and the chicken is cooked through.
- Add the peas
Stir in the green peas.
- Pour in the cream
Add enough half & half until the stew reaches a soft, golden color, about ½ cup. Simmer for another 10 minutes or until thickened.
- Soups on!
Time to eat! By now, you should be relaxed and ready with a bowl and spoon in hand. Fill your bowl with chicken stew and enjoy!
Watch how this simple recipe comes together in the video below:
Creamy Chicken Stew
By adding the half and half to this recipe, the recipe becomes a creamy chicken stew. In my opinion, it is worth adding because it provides this stew a richer texture.
If you need to make this creamy chicken stew recipe dairy-free, swap the half and half for canned coconut milk in equal quantities. You’re going to love it!
Make next: Turkey Stew
How to Thicken Stew
Chicken soup, while it can be hearty, is not as thick as a stew. The consistency of a stew is meant to be robust and thick.
It’s what sets it apart from soup, but if your stew is coming out a little thinner than desired, there are two ways you can thicken it up without messing up the flavor.
Thicken it with flour or cornstarch
In a small bowl, combine corn starch or flour with cold water. Whisk until smooth and stir into the soup/stew. Heat over medium heat while stirring. You’ll see it begin to thicken.
Thicken it by mashing some of the potatoes
This method works when you’re stew has potatoes if not, use the first tip. Using a large spoon or the back of a ladle, mash a few of the potato pieces and stir it into the broth. The mashed potatoes release its starches and thicken the texture of the stew.
Best Vegetables for Stew
Is it even a stew if it doesn’t include carrots, potatoes, and green peas? I don’t think so, but it that doesn’t mean you can’t add your favorite vegetables, just be sure to keep those three at the top of your list.
Other great veggies to add to stews are:
- Sweet potatoes
- Green beans
Can I Freeze It?
You can freeze this chicken stew, but keep in mind that the cooked potatoes will have a different texture after being frozen and reheated. Soups made with dairy also tend to separate and have a grainy texture after being reheated- if neither of these bothers you, go ahead and freeze the soup as is. You can do this by:
- Prepare the recipe as directed and allow the stew to reach room temperature before packing it into airtight containers or freezer bags.
- Label each container with the recipe name and date. This way, you’ll know exactly what you’re looking at a month later.
- Once you’re ready to serve it, remove the frozen stew from the freezer and defrost in the fridge overnight. Reheat on the stove-top or in the microwave.
If it does bother you, I suggest packing leftovers into thermos containers for lunches the next day. During the cold months, hot lunches are always welcome, and if you have trouble keeping items like soups and stews hot in a thermos container, I show you how to fix that in this post.
Alternatively, if you want to make this chicken stew and freeze it for later with the best results, prepare it as directed but don’t add the potatoes or cream. Freeze and thaw the soup using the directions above. Once it’s reheating on the stove, add the potatoes and cook until tender. Before serving, stir in the cream, and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
More Ways to Make Chicken Stew
Another beautiful feature of this healthy stew is it can be made in so many different ways. You can swap out vegetables as I showed you above or trade the chicken for turkey in my turkey stew recipe.
Easy Chicken Stew
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ½ pounds chicken thighs, boneless, skinless, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 small onion, diced
- 3 carrots, cut into ½-inch rounds
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- ½ teaspoon rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 5 medium golden potatoes, quartered
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup green peas
- ½ cup half and half
- In a large soup pot, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sauté for 2 -3 minutes until the chicken is browned.
- Remove the chicken from the pot and set it aside on a plate.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat and add the onions, carrots, and celery. Cook for 3 minutes or until the veggies are softened and golden brown. Add the seasonings, salt, pepper, potatoes, chicken broth, water, and chicken pieces. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 – 30 minutes, until the potatoes are fork-tender.
- Stir in the green peas and half and half, cook for another 10 minutes, or until thickened.
- Remove the bay leaves and serve soup.