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Winter White Chicken Stew


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into large pieces

  • 1 fresh bay leaf

  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 1 large bulb of fennel, cored and chopped (save the fronds!)

  • 3 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

  • 1 cup of dry white wine

  • 3 cups chicken stock

  • 1 cup green Sicilian olives, pitted

  • 1/4 cup pine nuts

  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley leaves

  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon

  • 1 loaf crusty bread


Place a large pot over medium-high heat with two turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons. Place the flour on a plate, season the chicken pieces liberally with salt and pepper and then transfer chicken to the flour. Toss to coat the pieces and shake off any excess flour. Transfer chicken to the hot pot and brown all the pieces for about 5 minutes, giving it a stir every now and then. Add the bay leaf, garlic, onion, fennel, half of the fennel fronds and the potatoes and continue to cook for about 4-5 minutes, or until the onions start to get tender.

Add the white wine while scraping the bottom of the pan and cook for one more minute. Add the chicken stock and bring up to a bubble. Simmer for 10-15 minutes and add the olives the last 5 minutes of cooking. While the stew is simmering, prepare the garnish: place the pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat and cook tossing frequently until toasted, just a couple of minutes. Place the parsley, lemon zest and toasted pine nuts in a pile on your cutting board, run your knife through the pile until it is finely chopped. To serve, ladle the stew into bowls and sprinkle with some of the chopped parsley, pine nut, lemon zest mixture. Squeeze lemon juice over each serving. Don't add it directly to the pot because if you have any leftovers, the lemon juice will make the stew bitter the next day. Sprinkle some of the fennel fronds on top as well and serve some crusty bread alongside.