When my husband and I moved in together in our twenties, we didn’t have a lot of money. Every Sunday, he would make up a big pot of something that we would have during the week, like meatballs and gravy or chicken stew. With the addition of kids to the family, we moved away from soups and stews even though they’re frugal and filling.
Since I need to stretch our grocery budget as much as I can while providing nutritious meals, I’ve started including stews in the menu. I like this chicken stew recipe because I can include veggies in it which some of the kids will eat, and the stew is cooked in chicken stock. I always make my chicken stock with lots of vegetable peelings to get as much nutrition and flavor into it as possible. The other joy of this recipe is that it can be made at the last minute if you already have veggies prepped in your fridge.
You can freeze this; the orzo pasta I use holds up pretty well to freezing. If you’re not sure about the pasta, simply make the stew without pasta, freeze it, and then cook the pasta in the stew when you’re reheating it.
- Chicken (I use meat picked off a carcass, or one split chicken breast, or leftover cooked meat)
- Minced Garlic
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 4 cups water
- 1 box of orzo pasta or any other very small pasta (Rice could work, too as a gluten-free option)
- Salt and Pepper
- Dried parsley - optional
- Prepare the vegetables by chopping them into bite-sized pieces. I vary the amount of vegetables according to my whims and whatever is in the vegetable drawer.
- In a large flat pot, saute the chopped vegetables in several Tablespoons of butter until slightly soft and translucent. Cooking them in butter prevents them from getting browned. Add the minced garlic towards the end.
- Add the chicken stock and water to the pot and bring to a boil. Simmer the vegetables for about 15 minutes.
- Add the pasta, turn off the heat, put the lid on the pot, and let it sit for at least 15 to 20 minutes. The pasta will absorb the liquid.