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October 10, 2019 3 Comments


Asking for recipe testers has been wonderful!

Last week it turned out there were so many details I’d forgotten to spell out: what type of broth were you using—chicken, beef, or vegetable? Chicken is always my go-to broth, but how would you have known that? Was it red wine vinegar or white wine? Good question; red wine vinegar is the answer.

It is all so obvious when someone points it out, but I neglected to be specific and that is no way to write a good recipe. Thank you, Judy, for your specificity.

The good news is that the moment someone points out something that needs to be clarified, I update the recipe on the blog so the current recipe is always the latest version.

This week you can help by testing this Simple Chicken Stew recipe. It is a basic stew that is easy to make and perfect to eat as the weather gets cooler.

I made it the other night to rave reviews. I hope you enjoy it.

A little reminder—if you want to test a recipe, tell me:

Was it understandable?
Did I omit something?
Was it easy to follow?
Did the recipe turn out?
Is there anything you’d change?
Did you like it?
Would you make it again?

Also, don’t let the length of the recipes intimidate you. They may seem long, but that is only to ensure that everything is explained.

Before you start cooking, there are two steps you should take. I highly recommend that you:

  1. Read the entire recipe before starting. Trust me, it makes cooking so much easier—I learned this the hard way.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten halfway through a recipe to read “let it marinade overnight.” What! I’m making this for tonight, not tomorrow! And I’m left improvising the rest of the recipe.

  1. Do what chef’s do before they start cooking. Get everything ready: all your utensils, tools, and ingredients measured, peeled, cut, and sliced. It is called mise en place, a French term meaning set in place. This step has actually made cooking easier.

Once all the ingredients are prepared and ready, I can start cooking without having to pause to prepare the next ingredients. And I don’t forget to include something because it is already waiting for me to include it.

Simple Chicken Stew

Serves 4
350° preheated oven
Prep time 20 minutes Cooking time 45 minutes
Total time 65 minutes
3 lbs chicken thighs, boneless and skinless, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 cup carrots diced 1/2” cubes
1 cup celery diced 1/2” cubes
1 cup onion diced 1/2” cubes
3 cloves garlic crushed
1/2 cup white wine
Optional 4 ounces chopped mushrooms
1 bay leaf
Sprig of fresh tarragon and sage
2 1/2 cups low salt chicken broth
2 tbs flour plus 1/2 cup broth or water
2 tbs chopped parsley
1 to 2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 1/2 cups rice to be added to 3 cups water


  1. Sear the chicken in batches. (You don’t want to overcrowd the pan or the chicken will steam and not brown.) Set aside.
  2. Add the carrots, celery, and onions (what the French call mirepoix). Add the herbs and cook until the onions start to soften and brown.
  3. Add the crushed garlic, cook 1 minute.
  4. Add the white wine to deglaze the pan. With a wooden spoon unstick all the browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.
  5. Add the chopped mushrooms if you are using them, and cook until they soften and start to brown.
  6. While the mushrooms are cooking place 1/2 cup of broth or water in a bowl, add 2 tbs of flour.
  7. Once the flour has been absorbed, whisk to blend.
  8. Add the flour mixture to the pan and cook on medium-high heat stirring for two minutes.
  9. Add chicken with all the drippings and the remainder of the chicken broth. Bring to a boil.
  10. Cover and place in the oven.
  11. Cook for 45 minutes.
  12. After the chicken has cooked for 15 minutes start cooking the rice. 
  13. Add 1 1/2 cups rice to 3 cups of water and bring to a boil.
  14. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting and cover the pan.
  15. Let the rice cook without stirring for about 20 minutes until all the water has been absorbed. 
  16. Once the chicken stew has finished cooking remove it from the oven and place, uncovered, on the med-high stovetop. Taste and adjust the flavors.
  17. If it needs more flavor, I add one chicken bouillon cube. Let it bend in and taste again. If necessary, add a second bouillon cube. Because the bouillon cubes add salt, I wait till the end to add salt.
  18. If you think the stew still needs to thicken, let it evaporate while cooking on med-high heat. Stir occasionally.
  19. Remove the bay leaf and the large herbs before serving.
  20. Add the chopped parsley.

    Serve the chicken over the rice.
    Bon Appetite.

    If you’d like, here are other recipes you can try.

    After each post please answer the questions either in the comments or if you prefer you can email me at adeline@french-secrets.com

    One more thing: if you know anyone who you think would like to test a recipe, please send this on to them. The more the merrier.


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    3 Responses

    Adeline Olmer
    Adeline Olmer

    October 13, 2019

    Thank you for your comments!
    I’ve added the prep time and total time to this recipe and will do it to all the recipes.
    Thanks, Susan for your great suggestions. I’ve made the corrections, they make the recipe much clearer.

    susan victoria
    susan victoria

    October 13, 2019

    I prefer low-salt chicken stock. salt to taste an=t the end ( have you ever checked out the sodium content in chicken stock…)
    Could you offer an overall cooking time
    step 4: do you mean remove the browned bits or unstick them?
    Are we to brown/cook the mushrooms —does the heat stay on while you are dissolving the flour in the chicken broth?
    Could you say " after the chicken mixture has been cooking for 15 minutes, begin cooking the rice" ? And I would insert that step in between step 11 and step 12.
    Will you be addressing calories, or to do a gluten free version of this? Frequently I omit the flour.

    Adrisse Brandt
    Adrisse Brandt

    October 11, 2019

    I am so looking forward to trying the recipes, I am planning to do the above chicken stew and the cauliflower fennel parmesan soup next week, hmmmm.
    One thought, can you provide the yield, active time and total time? I personally always look at these when selecting a recipe and going shopping.

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