I used to be one of those people that saw the word stew and instantly think – ‘no, it’s a winter meal, I am not serving that in August’ but really anything can be a stew. I was in the mindset that a stew had to be vegetables and chunks of meat in a thick gravy (which right now on a cold, wet afternoon when I’m writing this, sounds absolutely amazing) but it’s just simply not the case and this is the recipe to help you get out of the same mindset that I was in.
This is a year round staple in our house, it’s pretty quick to make and the way you serve it depends on what kind of mood you are in, it’s versatile flavours and texture means that it doesn’t have to just be served in a bowl with a spoon, there are other options to suit your style.
Like I mentioned, this is a pretty quick dish to make. There have been plenty of times when the kids have asked ‘when’s dinner going to be ready?’ (imagine it in a whiny kid voice, yep. Just like that) and in truth, I hadn’t even started to make it because the prep and cooking process is easy, so usually, I get glares when dinner is ready and the kids haven’t finished playing the game they just started.
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- ½ tbsp dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp chipotle paste
- 400g can of chopped tomatoes
- 4 chicken breasts
- 1 small red onion, cut into rings (optional, they’re for scattering on top later)
Heat oil in a medium sized saucepan and add the onion until it has softened. When the onions are just about to start to go golden, add in the garlic to cook out for a minute or two. Then you can stir in the sugar, chipotle and tomatoes.
Add the chicken to the pan and spoon the sauce mixture over the top making sure it’s well incorporated into the mixture. You’re going to need to leave the pan to simmer gently for around 20 minutes to make sure the chicken has been cooked. Keep an eye on the pan though, if the sauce reduces too much and is a bit thick, you can add a bit of water to it to thin it back out.
Remove the chicken from the pan and shred with forks. Add it back to the sauce mixture and scatter over the onion rings you prepared earlier. Then you can serve either in a separate dish or on individual plates.
A fun way to eat this meal would be with taco shells or with tortillas, letting the family delve in and make their own tasty wraps. It’s fun for the kids to get involved with making their own but you can also serve with rice for a more stew like feel, or even tortilla chips if you decide to have it as a lunch time dish.