Fantastically easy to put together, and exceptionally warm and comforting on a cold winter evening.
– 1/4 cup butter (salted or unsalted, depending on how much you want to add in the end)
– 3 carrots, peeled and diced
– 2 celery stalks, diced
– 1/2 sweet onion, diced
– 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
– 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
– 1/4 cup flour
– 3 cups chicken stock (here’s a recipe for great stock)
– 2 cups milk (whole or 2%, but not skim!)
– 2 large russet potatoes, peeled and diced
– 2 1/2 cups cooked chicken, diced (great for leftovers from a roasted chicken, or pick up a rotisserie chicken, or use a few chicken breasts)
– 1 1/2 to 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
– 2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley leaves
– Salt and pepper to taste
In a heavy pot or dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat and saute the carrots, celery and onion until tender, about five minutes. Add the thyme and sage, and stir. Gradually sprinkle in the flour and whisk until smoothly combined with the butter/veggie mixture, then continue to whisk for about 1 minute until lightly browned. Slowly add in the chicken stock, whisking to incorporate the flour smoothly into the stock. Gradually whisk in the milk.
Add the potatoes and bring to a simmer. Continue to simmer (uncovered) until potatoes are soft, about 15 minutes. Add the diced cooked chicken, and allow to heat for about one minute. Lower the heat, and gradually add in the shredded cheese, stirring to melt into the stew. Add in the parsley, and salt and pepper to taste (we’re liberal with the pepper).
Serve with a salad and crusty bread or soft potato rolls. It’s excellent if you add a dash of Tabasco to your bowl. And this stew is even better the second day.
Serves about 6.