Harvest Chicken Apple Stew
- ¼ pond pancetta, small dice
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs cut in bite size pieces
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher or smoked salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 ½ cups diced onions
- 1 cup peeled and diced carrots
- 1 cup diced fennel (bulb only)
- 1 ½ cups cubed potatoes (peeled if not new potatoes)
- 1 ½ cups apple cider
- 2 ½ cups peeled cored and diced apples (put in cider to keep from browning)
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 cups chicken stock (more if needed)
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1 ¼ cups cooked pumpkin or butternut squash, pureed
- 1-2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
- 1 cup heavy cream
Heat oil in a large heavy pot, add pancetta and cook until crisp and most of the fat has rendered. Remove pancattta with a slotted spoon and reserve. Toss the chicken with the salt and pepper. Add chicken to the pot and cook over medium-high heat until slightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes.
Add the ions, carrots, fennel, potatoes, apples and cider, thyme bay leaf, chicken stock, cider vinegar and reserved pancetta. There should be enough liquid to just cover the chicken and vegetables. Bring the mixture to a summer and cook, stirring occationally for 30 minutes. Add pumpkin or squash and cook an additional 15 minutes or until carrots are tender.
Whisk arrowroot powder into heavy cream and stir into stew. Heat until just thickened. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.
Makes 8 servings – stew may be made 1 day ahead. Cool with the pot uncovered but chill with the pot covered.
It does in fact taste better made one day ahead because it gives the flavors time to come together and develop. Enjoy!