Thursday, 3 November 2011

french rosemary chicken stew

About two years ago I tried this recipe, then called autumn stew, for the first time and I have to admit that the family members and I weren't all that impressed. In my opinion there was too much chicken and rice, and the rosemary flavour was very dominant. However, there was something about the recipe that I really liked; I liked cooking these ingredients because of the wonderful aroma in the kitchen so I didn't quite write it off. About a year later I felt the need to try it again, made some changes, added organic dijon mustard, and we all loved it. There was something very French about it after the dijon had been added and the rosemary flavour became subtler. That's why we changed the name to French rosemary chicken stew. To me, this is the perfect autumn stew. I serve it in a bowl with bread, preferably home-made, fresh from the oven, and it doesn't hurt to enjoy with it one glass of red wine. I make the stew with organic/free-range chicken and I don't peel the potatoes as I only use organic vegetables in it.



  • 2 skinless chicken breast fillets, preferably organic/free-range
  • 500 ml water (2 cups)
  • chicken stock cube, organic
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (450 g)
  • 400 ml water
  • 1 tablespoon organic dijon mustard
  • 3 potatoes, quartered
  • 3 large carrots, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • ½ teaspoon rosemary, fresh or dried
  • 1 teaspoon Italian herb seasoning (I use ½ teaspoon dried oregano, ¼ teaspoon dried thyme, ¼ teaspoon dried basil and a touch of ground coriander)
  • optional: 1 bay leaf
  • ¼-½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 600 ml boiled Basmati rice (2½ cups)


  1. Start with rinsing and boiling the rice. I always boil 375 ml rice (1½ cup) in 750 ml water (3 cups) to make sure I have enough for the stew (and even to use on the side for those who want more rice). It only takes about 10 minutes to boil Basmati rice. (If you are insecure in the kitchen, simply boil the rice before you start making the stew. Start with bringing the rice to the boil without a lid. When the water starts boiling, turn the heat down to low and put a lit on the saucepan, just tilting it to begin with so you allow the steam to escape. When the rice is done, allow it to sit in the saucepan with the lid on until you use it in the stew.)
  2. Now we start making the stew: Put the chicken breast fillets in a large saucepan with 500 ml water (2 cups) and the chicken stock cubes. When the water starts boiling, add the finely chopped onion and let it simmer until the fillets are cooked through (it'll take a few minutes). I usually turn the fillets once
  3. When the fillets are cooked through, use a fork or tongs to remove them from the saucepan, put them on a plate and set aside
  4. Add the can of tomatoes to the saucepan and 400 ml water (simply fill the empty tomato can with water and then you have 400 ml)
  5. Add the dijon mustard and stir gently
  6. Add all the vegetables, herbs, salt and pepper (if your Italian herb seasoning does not include bay leaves I would recommend cooking the stew with one bay leaf and remove it from the saucepan before serving
  7. Cut the fillets or simply tear them in your hands and add to the stew. Stir gently. Bring to the boil and let it simmer for 25 minutes
  8. Add 600 ml boiled Basmati rice (2½ cups) to the saucepan, stir and cook further for about 8-10 minutes
  9. I serve the stew in bowls and I allow it to cool for a few minutes, as the vegetables are very hot straight from the saucepan

If you are only cooking for two then I recommend making only half recipe. You can use one can of tomatoes and simply skip the extra 400 ml water and the one tomato.

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