Mediterranean Chicken Stew
Browning the chicken adds another layer of flavor to this hearty stew. Cook it in two batches to ensure that the chicken browns properly and doesn't steam. The caramelization on the chicken and on the bottom of the pan is what flavors the stew.
- Yield: Serves 4
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6 to 8 ounces each), cut into 1-inch pieces
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes in puree
- 1 1/2 pounds escarole (about 2 medium heads) ends trimmed, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup whole-wheat couscous, cooked according to package instructions
In a Dutch oven or a large, heavy pot (at least 5 quarts), heat oil over medium-high. Season chicken with salt and pepper and cook in two batches, tossing occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes per batch; transfer to a plate.
Add garlic, onion, and oregano to pot; season with salt and pepper. Cook until onion begins to brown, 2 to 4 minutes (don't worry if pan darkens). Add tomatoes (crushing with back of a spoon as you add them) and cook until slightly thickened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add chicken with any accumulated juices and bring to a simmer; cover and cook until chicken is opaque throughout, 2 to 4 minutes.
Add as much escarole to pot as will fit. Cook, tossing and adding more as space becomes available. Cook until escarole is tender, 2 to 4 minutes. Serve stew over couscous.