During the spring ‘shoulder season’, I like to have a soup recipe on hand that bridges winter and spring. This hearty chicken stew recipe is not only big on flavor, but one bowl contains 159% of the recommended daily value of vitamin D (based on a 2,000 calorie diet). Most of us are vitamin D deficient when coming out of winter, so this is a healthy soup in that regard.
Lemon brightens the flavor of this stew, the saffron in maharajah-style curry adds richness, and rosemary grounds everything nicely. The chicken breast in this spring stew will fill you up without making you feel weighed down.
I use essential oils for cooking in this recipe, but essential oil recipe conversions are included for your convenience.
Herby Chicken Stew
- Dutch Oven
- measuring cup with spout
- 1 ½ tbsp olive oil divided
- 1 yellow onion peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1 inch cubes
- 2 ½ cups vegetable broth
- 14.5 oz (1 can) plum tomatoes diced
- 4 tbsp white vinegar
- 4 tsp sugar
- 4 tbsp chicken broth
- ½ tsp chicken base
- 1 tsp maharajah style curry powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup uncooked green lentils
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp light brown sugar
- 2 drops rosemary essential oil or 2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 drops lemon essential oil or 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 drop black pepper essential oil or ½ tbsp ground black pepper
- fresh rosemary leaves for garnish
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a dutch oven over medium. Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes, or until translucent. Add garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
- Increase the heat to medium-high and add the chicken to the pot. Stir occasionally until browned on all sides, about 3 minutes.
- In a measuring cup with a spout, whisk together the vinegar, sugar, and chicken broth. (This is your non-alcoholic substitute for sherry wine.)
- Stir in the broth, tomatoes, sherry wine substitute, chicken base, curry and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium. Stir in the lentils. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the lentils are al dente, stirring occasionally. If the lentils are still crunchy, add another 5 minutes to the cooking time. (Be careful not to overcook the lentils or they will turn mushy.)
- Stir the brown sugar into the cream until it is dissolved, then stir into the stew until heated through.
- Remove the pot from the heat. Whisk the essential oils into the remaining ½ tablespoon olive oil and pour the oil mixture into the stew. Stir well to make sure the essential oil flavors are evenly distributed for the best seasoning.
- Serve immediately.