Cast Iron

Chicken, Heirloom Tomato and White Bean Stew

May  7, 2010
3 Ratings
  • Serves 8-10
Author Notes

Will hold up in refrigerator for about 5 days —trl

What You'll Need
  • 3 pounds boneless skinless organic chicken thighs (brined)
  • 5 pounds heirloom tomatoes (very ripe; variety of your choice) cut into roughly 1/2 to 3/4 inch cubes
  • 2 medium brown onions diced (1/8 to 1/4 inch)
  • 4 strips bacon (regular piece cut in half lengthwise, then cut into 1/4 inch strips)
  • 6 cups dried white northern beans
  • 2 stalks celery diced (1/8 inch)
  • 1 large carrot (finely shredded; I use the microplane grater or the smallest hole on a box grater)
  • 4 cloves garlic (pressed)
  • 375 milliliters good inexpensive chardonnay
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme chopped fine
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano chopped fine
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (cooking olive oil)
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • chopped parsley for garnish
  • chopped raw heirloom or cherry tomato for garnish
  • high quality extra virgin olive oil (a good finishing olive oil)
  1. Rehydrate and Cook Beans. Follow my recipe for rehydrating and cooking beans (on its own page). Note that you need at least 6 hours to soak the beans, so you should soak them the night before you make this recipe.
  2. Brine Chicken. Follow my recipe for brining the chicken (on its own page).
  3. Preheat oven to 225F.
  4. Heat a large dutch oven (I prefer enameled cast iron like Le Creuset or Staub, but you can use any heavy bottom pot that can go on the stove top and in the oven) over medium heat on the stove. Once heated, add olive oil (maybe 1 or 2 tablespoons)
  5. Add enough chicken thighs to heated dutch oven to cover the bottom in a single layer. Cook for 5 minutes on each side (turning only once). Work in batches if you have to, but do not crowd the dutch oven. Remove chicken thighs and set aside.
  6. Add bacon to dutch oven and cook through. Remove and set aside with chicken thighs. Keep dutch oven over heat.
  7. Add onion and celery and some salt and pepper to dutch oven and cook past translucent, but not yet carmelized.
  8. Add shredded carrot and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring with onion and celery.
  9. Keep onion, celery and carrot in dutch oven, but clear up some space on the bottom of the dutch oven and add garlic and another tablespoon of olive oil. Cook to translucent. Keep a close eye on the garlic so it doesn't burn. Once translucent stir into the onion, celery and carrot mixture and add in the thyme and oregano and some salt and pepper. Cook for another 3 to 4 minutes.
  10. Add chardonnay to dutch oven with the vegetables and cook until chardonnay is reduced by 1/2 to 2/3.
  11. Add heirloom tomatoes to dutch oven and cook for about 5 to 10 minutes until the tomatoes start to break down.
  12. Add chicken and bacon back to dutch oven, mix well and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes.
  13. Put dutch oven into preheated oven (leave it uncovered). Cook for at least 6, but preferably 8 hours.
  14. Let dutch oven sit for 10 or 20 minutes before serving.
  15. While sitting, mix the chopped raw tomatoes with finishing olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl.
  16. To serve, put 1 to 2 cups of stew (or however much you want) into a serving bowl and top with raw tomato mixture, then top with chopped parsley. You can eat with a small piece of good crusty bread (sourdough perhaps).

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