I love a good meal that cooks itself -- just dump all the ingredients together and stick it in the oven. I had a busy day today catching up on a lot of running around that I didn't do yesterday due to the ice storm here (it ended up not bad as far as ice storms go, and the streets were clear today).
Anyhoo, I chose one of my oven stew recipes for dinner tonight. This is something you can either make in the crockpot or cook it in a dutch oven in the oven at a low temperature (I do it at 275 degrees) for about 5 hours. I shared my Easy Oven Beef Stew recipe here.
Today's dinner was Oven Chicken Stew with Autumn Vegetables. I used 4 legs and 4 thighs (because that's what I had in the freezer). Other times I have used boneless skinless breasts or even boneless pork -- it's all good.
I take the skin off (because I don't like rubbery stewed chicken skin) and browned the pieces a bit on top of the stove in the dutch oven with a little olive oil. You can totally skip the browning step, but it does add some extra flavor. Then I dumped in a cut up onion, a bunch of quartered small red potatoes, some cut up carrots and some cut up celery. I meant to throw in mushrooms, but I forgot. Turnips and parsnips are good in this recipe, but I had potatoes and carrots.
Season all of this with some pepper, thyme, and sage, and get the chicken up on top of the veggies.
Pour over it a cup or two of a white sauce or gravy or a can cream of mushroom soup thinned with a bit of water.
Cover with the lid and cook at 275 (or 300 if you feel safer that way) for 4 to 5 hours. It comes out falling off the bones, with the potatoes and carrots absolutely luscious, with a very "short" sauce. You can check things and add more liquid if you like more sauce. My picture does not do the dish justice.
I served it with sweet potato biscuits. Periodically I mash leftover sweet potatoes and freeze them in ice cube trays (pop out the frozen cubes into ziplock freezer bags), so it's easy for me to pull out the equivalent of a cup to thaw to use in biscuits or soups.
Sweet Potato Biscuits:
1 cup mashed sweet potatoes, mixed with 1/2 cup melted butter
1 beaten egg
2 tablespoons sugar
(mix all of the above together)
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
mix with the liquid ingredients and knead it in the bowl, turn out on floured board and knead a little more until it holds together nicely. Roll out about 3/4 inch thick and cut into about 12 biscuits. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.
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