Nutritious Chicken Stew Recipe

It happened like this. We exchanged a heap of really neat but sort of unnecessary gifts from William Sonoma for one big, badass Dune-colored Le Creuset dutch oven. I remembered a Basque chicken stew I made years ago and started searching around the internet for something like it. I discovered that the always-pleasing Simply Recipes had transcribed a recipe by the obviously elegant Clotilde Dusoulier. The first and last step seemed fussy and complicated (though I am sure delicious), so I amended that. I didn’t have chili in the pantry so I added chipotle instead, and with a few other adjustments that probably do not improve or enhance the dish I went about crafting a chicken stew, based on the work of these wonderful women, adapted to suit, in equal parts, my laziness and taste. Here’s how I did it:

Dijon Chicken Stew
adapted from Chocolate and Zucchini


  • 1 elephant garlic clove
  • 1 whole chicken cut up into its parts
  • 6 red onions
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 2 yellow peppers
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1 teaspoon sage
  • 2 stalks rosemary
  • 1/4 cup dijon mustard


In two batches, I browned the salted, peppered chicken in olive oil on medium heat until golden brown, about five minutes per side, and removed it from the pot. I added the six quartered onions and let them soften. Noticing lots of brown goodness on the bottom of the LC, it seemed like an opportune time for wine, so that went in next. On top I sprinkled, placed and arranged the roughly chopped garlic, peppers and tomatoes, which remain whole. In went the herbs and spices, on top of which I settled the pieces chicken, covered, and turned down the heat to a simmer. I peeked and stirred and tasted a few times during this forty-five minute period. Finally, I blended in the mustard and turned up the heat for ten minutes so it could incorporate, thicken and become the stew. I think I finally achieved a proper consistency, and it tastes like a slightly spicy, rustic kitchen, somewhere near Poitiers. Magnificent!

I haven’t decided if I will serve this over egg noodles or with a loaf of crusty bread on the side. You could add potatoes for starch in the stew. I would definitely include mushrooms. The sauce is incredible, and you will want to drink it with a straw. Though we do not condone that sort of behaviour; you can do what you like in your own home.

Jillian Bedell

Jillian Bedell is a writer and mother living in a farmhouse in Cushing, Maine. She is very good at talking about herself in the third person. She is co-author of Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road.


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