Ok bit of a corny name, but hey - you fill the pan with enough broth to cover the chicken thighs (and veggies) so it seems appropriate and in proportion to my sense of humor. It's probably even debatable on whether it's a stew or soup but again let's not concentrate on the name. Being on the paleo diet definitely teaches you to be as efficient with cooking as possible. Planning ahead and making easily re-reheatable options for the week make for quick food options when the you're in a rush and/or having a busy day. Not to mention a bowl of food that has both your veggies & protein all floating around in the same tastiness - what's not to love. Enough of the lead in, you might be hungry ... let's get to it.
- 16 (approximately 5 lbs) of Boneless, Skinless paleo chicken thighs
- 64 ounces of low or no sodium, organic chicken broth
- 1 large Vidalia or Mayan Sweet Onion cut very coarsely - this is a stew in my book, so keep 'em big
- 2.5 - 3 cups of Carrots cut very coarsely
- 3 cups of Celery cut very coarsely
- 2 cloves of Garlic thinly sliced or minced according to your preference
- 1 teaspoon Black Pepper (but who measures black pepper)
- 3/4 teaspoon Onion Powder - yes I add both onions and onion powder but feel free to make this optional
- 3/4 teaspoon Dried Parsley
- 1 Bay Leaf
- Salt to taste depending on the broth used
- I like to brown/sear the chicken thighs a bit for a richer flavor but consider this an option.
- (I'm going to assume you sear them but if you don't your step 2 is to pour in the broth, add spices, cover the thighs and get it warming over a medium heat.)
- Add broth and spices to a big pot and get it warming up over a medium heat.
- Get to chopping up the Carrots, Celery & Onion (a.k.a Mirepoix or the Holy Trinity) & collect them in a big bowl - no need for this to be prep work you've got time.
- In the pan you seared the thighs in add the Trinity and sauté them a bit, just enough to soak up the flavoring in the pan so it doesn't go to waste.
- You can set the Trinity aside and hold off adding it till the last 30 minutes or so - especially if you want to control how crunchy/soft you want them.
- At this point a medium low heat should work. Just make sure to avoid boiling the broth - you don't want the chicken stock reducing to0 much and uncovering the chicken. Well, of course you could cover it but I don't - I like a little reduction overall to help concentrate the flavors.
- Honestly I probably let this cook more than 1.5 hours in total, but I make sure to routinely check the thighs and get them to the tender, fall-apart stage before I add the Trinity. I'll continue cooking until the veggies get to the almost soft, yet still crunchy stage.
- Remove Bay Leaf and get a big spoon or ladle to fill up your bowl - a couple of tender thighs and a bunch of veggies makes a perfect serving for an easy paleo meal!
- Portion the rest out and prepare for them for reheating as you see fit.
I'm a creative guy by trade but I use ingredients from my regular pallete of tastes and colors (yes colors) - this can easily be modified to your desires, mood and favorite flavors. Beef and beef broth perhaps? Feel free to throw this in a crock pot or slow cooker if you have a few errands to run and can plan ahead better than I do. The celery and carrots can easily make this on the sweeter side of your normal savory meal, but you can easily throw some red pepper flakes or a pinch of cayenne pepper to give it a little punch if you are so inclined. Yes, you can also sear the chicken in the same pot and before you add the stock - I do it separately for the benefit of flavoring the veggies without overcooking them. Lastly, sometimes I have broth & veggies left over with no chicken - know what I do? Get the broth nice a hot and scramble an egg or two for a very american version of Egg Drop soup. Feel free to let me know your variation, questions or feedback in the comments below. Buon appetito!