Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Chicken and Cannellini Bean Stew

We like to eat early because, well, we just do. So when the Ravens play a 4pm game, it cuts into our dining schedule a bit. The best solution is to make something that can be served at halftime, either a quick supper of nachos or pizza (homemade, of course) or a long-cooked stew of some sort. We had done chili already for a game earlier in the season, and leftover Thanksgiving turkey nachos fit the bill for the Ravens game against the San Diego Chargers, so I decided to make something completely new for the game against arch-rival Pittsburgh Steelers.

Chicken thighs, sausage, and white beans are a great combination, especially when teamed up with tomatoes and garlic. Lots of garlic. Serve with a green salad and garlic bread for a tasty supper that doesn't involve a lot of last-minute prep.

Chicken and Cannellini Bean Stew with Sausage

1 lb sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
olive oil
2 cups onion, chopped
pinch of salt
5 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 15 oz cans diced tomatoes and their juices
2 15 oz cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 bay leaf
1 cup chicken broth
6 - 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
salt and pepper to taste
polenta or rice

In a large pot or Dutch oven, cook the sausage over medium-high heat until browned on all sides, breaking it up into small pieces with a wooden spoon. Add a bit of olive oil if the sausage sticks to the pot. When the sausage is mostly browned, add the onions and pinch of salt. Cover pot and cook five minutes, stirring once or twice, until onions are soft. Stir in garlic and oregano. Add wine and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Cook until most of the wine has evaporated. Add tomatoes, beans, bay leaf, and chicken broth and stir to combine. Tuck chicken thighs into the pot, making sure they're submerged as much as possible.

Bring mixture to a boil, then turn heat to low and cover pot. Cook for 90 minutes - 2 hours, stirring occasionally. When chicken is falling apart, taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with or over polenta or rice. Serves 4-6.

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