Cooking On A Budget: Spring Chicken and Herbs

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Spring Chicken and Herbs


It's Mother's Day weekend and I took a childhood recipe and lightened it up a bit. Back in the day Mom would make "Stewed Chicken" which was a one pot meal where the chicken was floured first than seared in a dutch oven. The chicken would simmer away in the pot with dried herbs and vegetables then it was served over mashed potatoes with a thickened gravy and generally some Bisquick biscuits on the side.

This version is a little lighter - no flour and no heavy gravy. The chicken jus that surrounds the dish gained an incredible amount of flavor due to the fresh herbs and I really didn't see the need to make a thick gravy. Overall the dish has intense flavor and the chicken is succulent and fall apart tender - you don't even need a knife.

After a day of clearing branches and moving wood from a tree he felled for next winter's firewood, my husband was totally ready for a light, yet hearty dinner. This Spring Chicken and Herbs was exactly what he needed to re-fuel.
  • 4-6 Pieces of Chicken – whatever parts you like best
  • 1 large Sweet Onion – medium dice
  • ¾ lb. Carrots – bite size pieces
  • 2 stalks Celery – medium dice
  • 1 1/2 cups good Chicken Stock (more if you need it)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Shortening – such as Crisco®
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary - please don't use dried.
  • 1 small bunch fresh parsley
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

  1. Wash the chicken under cold water. Thoroughly dry the chicken with paper towels. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper.
  2. In a dutch oven or other deep sauce pot over medium high heat melt some shortening to cover the pans bottom.
  3. Add in the chicken to the pan skin side down and then brown the skin over a medium flame. Flip it over and brown the other side for a minute or two. Move to a waiting platter while you finish all the pieces.
  4. Let the pan cool down a bit and empty out excess fat, leaving some in there for sauteing the vegetables.
  5. Over medium low heat cook the onions and celery until they become wilted. Season to taste with just a little salt and pepper.
  6. Add the chicken pieces back to the pan and cover with the chicken broth until it almost covers the chicken. If need be add a little bit of water. Add in the fresh rosemary and parsley.
  7. Cover and simmer for 1/2 hour. Then add in the carrots and cook for another hour, uncover during the last 15 minutes to allow a concentration of flavors to develop.
  8. Your sauce can be slightly thickened if you wish by mixing a slurry of cornstarch and water or broth. I chose to leave it lighter. Serve over some mashed potatoes and you have a complete meal.

The cost of the Spring Chicken and Herbs came to $9.45, serving four for $2.36 each.

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