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Dinner tonight! Tuscan chicken stew

December 03, 2012|By Noelle Carter
  • Tuscan chicken stew.
Tuscan chicken stew. (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles…)

When you're looking for a perfect one-dish meal, look no further than this recipe for Tuscan chicken stew. Chicken thighs are braised with white beans in a light tomato sauce, the stew finished with fresh spinach and lots of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Best of all? The whole meal comes together in about an hour.

For more quick-fix dinner ideas, check out our video recipe gallery here. Food editor Russ Parsons and Test Kitchen manager Noelle Carter show you how to fix a dozen dishes in an hour or less.

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You can find Noelle Carter on Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Pinterest. Email Noelle at noelle.carter@latimes.com.

Tuscan chicken stew

Total time: About 1 hour

Servings: 4

Note: Adapted from Food Network Kitchens' "How to Boil Water."

1 onion

4 cloves garlic

1 (15-ounce) can cannellini or Great Northern beans

8 bone-in skinless chicken thighs (about 3 pounds)

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Pinch crushed red pepper flakes

1 large sprig rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1/2 cup dry red wine

1 (14-ounce) can chopped tomatoes

3/4 cup chicken broth

1 small head escarole or 4 cups baby spinach leaves (about 8 ounces)

1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino or Parmesan cheese (about 1 ounce)

1. Chop the onion; smash and peel the garlic. Rinse and drain the beans in a colander or strainer.

2. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season all over with salt and black pepper. Add the oil to the Dutch oven. When the oil is hot, add the chicken skinned (rounded) sides down, and brown, in batches if necessary, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter when done.

3. When all of the chicken has been browned, reduce the heat to medium, add the onion, garlic, red pepper flakes and herbs; cook, stirring until the onions are slightly soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook until brick red, about 1 minute. Add the wine and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits that cling to the pan. Bring to a boil and cook until syrupy, about 1 minute.

4. Add the beans, tomatoes and chicken broth, and bring to a boil. Nestle the chicken pieces in the stew, adding to the pan any collected juices from the plate. Simmer the stew, uncovered, until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes.

5. Trim the escarole and tear the leaves into bite-size pieces. (If you're using baby spinach, there's no need to do this.) Wash the escarole or spinach and drain. Add the greens to the stew, cooking only until wilted, about 4 minutes. Stir in the cheese and season with salt and black pepper to taste. Serve in shallow bowls.

Each serving: 642 calories; 55 grams protein; 24 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams fiber; 32 grams fat; 8 grams saturated fat; 179 mg cholesterol; 5 grams sugar; 650 mg sodium.

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