Chicken Stew

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A hearty Chicken Stew with fall-apart-tender chicken, sweet carrots, smoky bacon, and more, all served in a deeply savory, thick, and luxurious gravy.

Try some of our other favorite stew recipes like this Moroccan Stew (with couscous), Sweet Potato Stew, or Crockpot Beef Stew (with gnocchi).

Overhead image of Chicken Stew

The Ultimate Chicken Stew

It takes a village to keep this website up and running, and so much goes on behind the scenes to deliver the best possible content that we can to you. (And thank YOU for making this all possible!)

Our writer/editor, Maggie, holds one of those “behind-the-scenes” jobs that makes everything better–she’s the best of the best! And this recipe happens to come from her–like everything she does, this recipe absolutely blew me away! It’s deeply savory with smoky undertones and ridiculously tender chicken that practically falls apart, and the best blend of veggies. The resultant gravy surrounding the chicken and veggies is the perfect thickness with a wonderfully nuanced, rich, and deep flavor

She sent this recipe to me while my husband and I were on a date. A quick peruse and we headed straight to the store to grab the ingredients (that’s how excited we both were to try it!). The kids all gave it a resounding two thumbs-up and I can’t wait for you all to try it! Fair warning–you’re going to all be as obsessed with Maggie as we are after trying the first bite!

Process shots-- images of the bacon and chicken being cooked

Use Bone-In Chicken Thighs

While a lot is contributing, the one ingredient that delivers such a rich and nuanced flavor to this stew: the chicken.

To get this rich flavor we want bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. Bone-in chicken breasts will also work. Whatever you get, we want to make sure the meat has the bone left in. 

We discard the bone after the chicken cooks, so why is it so important? Bones are living tissues and therefore rich in micronutrients and minerals. Not only do the bones provide nutrition, they also provide so much flavor. Bones also keep the meat from drying out (juicier chicken!) by helping to insulate the meat during cooking. The rich flavors of the marrow seep their way into the meat during the cooking process– which enhances the flavor of the entire chicken stew. You’ll be amazed at the flavor difference of bone-in meat versus boneless here!

Process shots of Chicken Stew-- images of the veggies being cooked and then garlic and tomato paste being added

How To Make Chicken Stew

This stew has such a deeply and nuanced savoriness because we’re creating multiple layers of flavor. Instead of just throwing everything together in a slow cooker, we take the time to cook each component and then allow the flavors to “marry” at the end. Here’s a quick overview:

  • Brown the bacon: The drippings (grease) left behind is then the perfect avenue for the next step.
  • Searing the chicken: Color = flavor, so that nice golden crust on the chicken is what we’re after. Don’t rush it–brown it well!
  • Sautéing the veggies: The veggies will pick up all those lovely “browned bits” left behind from the chicken and bacon, making them ultra flavorful.
  • Reducing the liquid: The veggies also simmer in a wine + broth mixture which reduces down, leaving a concentrated mixture that’s ultra flavorful
  • Combine everything: And once we’ve got all these layers of flavor, we can finish cooking the chicken and potatoes in the liquid– which will continue to reduce and concentrate into a wonderfully savory gravy.

QUICK TIP

What are browned bits? This refers to caramelized remnants of meat that get left in the pan after the meat is cooked. They’re then “re-cooked” in wine/broth/other liquids helping them be absorbed into a the sauce or gravy and delivering a deeper and richer flavor

Process shots-- images of liquid, bay leaves, butter, and flour being added to the pot

Chicken and Potato Stew

This stew has a myriad of veggies in it and a personal favorite — gold potatoes!

Yukon gold (also called gold, Yukon, or yellow potatoes) are the perfect complement to the chicken in this hearty Chicken Stew.

Yukon gold potatoes are small to medium-sized potatoes with a light yellow flesh, delicate skin, and an irresistible creamy flavor and ever so slight sweetness. No need to peel these potatoes — the skin is so thin it’s undetectable. 

Process shots of Chicken Stew-- images of the liquid being gradually added into the pot

VARIATIONS

Change It Up!

Chicken stew with vegetables: If you’d like to add more vegetables, do so when the chicken gets removed. Maggie suggests mushrooms, frozen corn, peas or baby lima beans. Yum!

Chicken stew with rice: My boys are obsessed with rice. On a whim, we mixed in some leftover rice with some leftover stew and it got thumbs-up all around! This stew certainly doesn’t need rice but if you want to add in some lingering in the fridge, go for it! A little leftover pasta might make a tasty alternative.

Healthy Chicken Stew: This stew isn’t too bad nutritionally — it’s broth-based instead of cream based, has loads of protein, and is packed with veggies. If you’re looking to reduce the calories a bit, though, leave out the bacon and instead sear the chicken in olive oil.

Process shots-- images of the spices and potatoes being added to a pot and it all being cooked together

Chicken Stew Tips

  • Thoroughly pat the chicken dry with a paper towel (to ensure a better sear), and season with salt and pepper.
  • You know the chicken is nicely seared when you are able to lift it from the pan without resistance. If it sticks, keep browning.
  • Use wine or a substitute! If you don’t want to use wine in this recipe, replace it with chicken broth and then add 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar for a similar flavor.
  • For a nice smoky flavor that complements the bacon beautifully, grab smoked paprika instead of sweet.

Process shots of Chicken Stew-- images of the shredded chicken and cooked bacon being added to the pot

Chicken Stew FAQs

1What is meant by Chicken Stew?

While beef stew is probably the most widely recognized type of stew, chicken stew is not too different! It’s a meal made with chicken that gets stewed in a gravy with carrots, onions, and potatoes. Stewing is the process of simmering food in a flavorful liquid.

2How do I make my Chicken Stew thicker?

This recipe has a roux (butter + flour) which thickens the stew nicely. If you are finding it’s still not thick enough, it’s likely just a matter of simmering it a little longer or at a slightly higher temperature so the liquid reduces.

3What is the difference between chicken fricassee and chicken stew?

Chicken fricassee is a traditional French chicken stew made in a creamy white mushroom sauce instead of the rich, darker brown sauce more commonly seen with stews.

4Do potatoes thicken stew?

Yes, the starch from potatoes help to naturally thicken the stew. Most of the thickening, though, comes from the flour.

5How much flour do I add to stew?

This recipe calls for 1/3 cup flour — the perfect amount to beautifully thicken things!

6Which is better to thicken stew: flour or cornstarch?

We prefer flour as cornstarch is more prone to lumping. Additionally, flour is good for a longer cooking time. Cornstarch will break down if it’s cooked very long.

Up-close overhead image of Chicken Stew ready to be served

What Goes With Chicken Stew?

The great thing about chicken stew is that it’s a full meal all in one bowl. It’s got meat, plenty of veggies, and a rich gravy. So, if you’re going to serve something with it, keep it simple! Below are a few recommendations.

Up-close overhead image of the dinner ready to be enjoyed

STORAGE

Chicken Stew Storage

Refrigerate leftovers in a covered container, up to 5 days.

Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months, noting that frozen and thawed potatoes may end up a bit mushy.

More Hearty Soup Recipes:

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Chicken Stew

5 from 1 vote
A hearty Chicken Stew with fall-apart-tender chicken, sweet carrots, smoky bacon, and more, all served in a deeply savory, thick, and luxurious gravy.
Print Recipe

Chicken Stew

5 from 1 vote
A hearty Chicken Stew with fall-apart-tender chicken, sweet carrots, smoky bacon, and more, all served in a deeply savory, thick, and luxurious gravy.
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American
Keyword Chicken Stew, Chicken Stew recipe, chicken stew recipes, stew chicken
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 864kcal
Author Chelsea Lords
Cost $15.43

Ingredients

  • 4 slices bacon chopped
  • 2-1/2 up to 3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (Note 1)
  • 1-1/2 cups chunked large carrots (2 large or 1-1/2 cups baby carrots)
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onion (1 large)
  • 1 cup sliced celery (2-4 stalks)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 4 cups chicken broth, separated
  • 1-1/4 cups dry white wine, divided (or use 1 cup additional chicken broth plus 1-3 tablespoons white wine vinegar)
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cups all-purpose, white flour
  • 2 teaspoons each: dried thyme and dried rubbed sage
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Fine sea salt and black pepper
  • 1-3/4 cups baby Yukon Gold potatoes, washed and quartered/cut into 1-inch pieces (3/4ths pound)
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (or 1 tsp dried parsley)

Instructions

  • BACON: Dice bacon and cook in a large cast iron pot (or Dutch oven) over medium heat until bacon browns and fat is rendered. Use a slotted spoon to remove bacon to paper-towel-lined plate, leaving the fat behind.
  • CHICKEN: While bacon is cooking, pat chicken dry with paper towel. Season lightly with salt & pepper (I add 1/2 tsp of each). Increase heat to high. Add chicken, skin side down, to the pan and sear on each side, browning well (about 3-4 mins per side or until chicken releases without resistance from the pan). Once seared, remove chicken to a bowl. Cover with foil and set aside for now.
  • VEGGIES: Reduce heat to medium high. Add the carrots, celery and onion to the pan and cook until starting to soften, about 3 minutes. While stirring, add in the tomato paste and minced garlic. Cook for 30 seconds.
  • BROTH: Increase heat to high. Add 1 cup broth, 1 cup wine (or 1 cup extra broth), Worcestershire sauce, and bay leaves. Keeping heat at high, bring to a rapid simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid reduces to about 1/3 cup (about 10-15 minutes).
  • THICKEN: Cut the butter into 3 chunks, add to the pan, and stir to melt. Sprinkle the flour over top of the veggies and stir until smooth, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the remaining 3 cups of chicken broth, along with the thyme, sage, and paprika, stirring until smooth. Add in the potatoes and mix through. Return the chicken to the pot (along with any liquid left behind in the bowl). Press under the liquid as much as possible. Simmer, stirring occasionally and scraping the bottom of the pot so it doesn't catch, until chicken registers 165 degrees on a thermometer-- about 20 minutes.
  • DICE OR SHRED CHICKEN: Remove the chicken and set on a cutting board to cool. Back to the pan: give it a good stir and reduce the heat to low, simmering until potatoes are fully tender. Once chicken is cooled enough to handle, remove and discard skin. Cut the meat into small chunks or shred it with two forks. Once potatoes are fork tender, return chicken to pot along with the remaining 1/4 cup wine (or 1 up to 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar -- add to taste preference) and the bacon. Stir through. Taste and add additional seasonings if needed (we typically add another 1/2 teaspoon each of salt & pepper). Remove and discard bay leaves.
  • SERVE: Serve in shallow bowls, garnished with parsley, if desired. Serve with some hot, crusty bread. Enjoy!

Video

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Chicken thighs: This is about 4-6 thighs (or 3 bone-in, skin-on breasts). To get the richest possible flavor we want bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. Not only do the bones provide nutrition, they also provide so much flavor. Bones also keep the meat from drying out (juicier chicken!) and help to insulate the meat during cooking. The rich flavors of the marrow seep their way into the meat during the cooking process which enhances the flavor of the entire chicken stew. 

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 864kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 47g | Fat: 58g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Monounsaturated Fat: 23g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 278mg | Sodium: 1336mg | Potassium: 1076mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 8910IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 93mg | Iron: 3mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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