Tender chicken stew with cauliflower and olives in tomato based sauce flavored with herbs and spices and topped with feta cheese make for the perfect one pot meal. This delicious stew can be served as lunch, dinner or supper and testes great served with garlic bread. Children as well as teens and adults love this dish. This is the perfect way to sneak some vegetables into your family's diet.
I love stews, casseroles and one-pot meals for several reasons. Less cleanup, easy to re-heat leftovers, they are comforting, and they are pretty easy to make. I also like Mediterranean food, it is pretty healthy and tastes delicious with it's aromas of cinnamon, thyme and parsley. This recipe serves about 4-5 people if you serve with garlic bread. If you want to serve more people you can add about 1 1/2 chicken breast per person.
Here is how I make Greek Chicken Stew:
1. In a large pot or casserole, heat 2 tbsp. canola or avocado oil over medium high heat. Add approximately 6 chicken thighs to the pot and brown them for approximately 4 minutes on each side. If all the thighs does not fit in the pot in one layer, you need to brown them in batches.
2. While the chicken is browning, chop one red onion and crush 4-5 cloves garlic.
3. Remove the chicken thighs from the pot and set aside. Add 2 tbsp. of red wine vinegar to the pot and scrape the bottom of the pot with a spatula or wooden spoon.
4. Saute the onion until it starts to turn light brown.
5. While the onion is sautéing, add 1 28oz. can of tomatoes of any kind to a food processor to make a smooth tomato sauce.
6. When the onion starts to turn light brown, reduce the heat to medium/low and add the garlic to the pot and sauté for about one more minute. Then add the tomato sauce, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper and 1 tsp. dried (or 2 tsp. fresh) thyme. Cover, Increase the heat back to medium/high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium/low again and let it simmer for 10 minutes while stirring occasionally.
7. Meanwhile wash a large cauliflower and cut into bite size florets.
8. Add the chicken thighs back into the pot, then add the cauliflower florets and stir to combine. When the sauce boils, reduce the temperature to low (2 out of 10), cover and let simmer for 30 minutes.
9. Now you have some time to clean up and to chop one green bell pepper and dig out about 30 pitted Kalamata olives. You can also chop about 1/2 cup flat leaf Italian parsley for garnish.
10. Add the bell pepper and olives to the pot and let simmer for another 20 minutes (or until the cauliflower is tender). Now you have some time to prepare the garlic bread if you are serving that.
11. This step is optional, I do this because I find that it makes the dish easier to share among people and you don't have to put knives on the table - remove the chicken thighs from the pot and shred them using two forks. Then add them right back into the sauce.
12. Remove from the heat and add chopped parsley. Add crumbled feta cheese after plating the stew.
Here is what you need to make Greek Chicken Stew with Cauliflower and Olives:
2 tbsp. canola or avocado oil
1 red onion, chopped
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
6 skin-less chicken thighs
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 28 oz. can of tomatoes of any kind, pureed in a food processor
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. dried thyme (or 2 tsp. fresh)
1 green bell pepper, chopped
30 pitted Kalamata olives
1 large cauliflower, cut into florets
1/2 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped (alternatively you can use fresh coriander).
Crumbled feta cheese (optional).
Heat 2 tbsp. oil over medium high heat in large pot/casserole. Brown the chicken (in batches if you have to), about 4 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken from the pan.
Reduce the heat down to medium and add the vinegar to the pan. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pan. Add the chopped onion and sauté until it starts turning golden brown.
Reduce the heat to low and add the garlic. Cook for a minute until the garlic is fragrant, then add the tomatoes, cinnamon, thyme, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper.
Turn the heat up to medium high and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to Medium low, cover and let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Return the chicken to the pot and add the cauliflower. Let simmer on low for 30 minutes, then add the olives and green bell pepper. Let simmer on low for another 20 minutes until the cauliflower is tender. Remove from the heat and stir in chopped parsley. Add crumbled feta cheese on top after you have plated the stew.
Serve with bread or garlic bread.