This Apple Chicken Stew with Rutabaga, Carrots and Parsnips is an easy, healthy and delicious dinner. Root veggies are available for most of the year, and they add an earthy flavour to the tart sweetness of the apples. The creamy gravy is from apple juice and chicken stock. And the whole thing is a hearty, comforting bowl of goodness.
This is a very autumn tasting dish, but I think it makes a cozy winter meal, too. I've said it before, but I love one pot meals. Especially stews. It's so nice to throw ingredients into a pot together and let the flavours simmer together until it's time to eat. And the clean up is pretty nice, too.
Apples in a Stew?
You don't usually see apples in a chicken stew, but they work really well with the flavours of sage, rosemary and chicken. I love rutabaga. It's one veggie that needs more attention, because, in spite of it's not so pretty appearance, it's a really versatile ingredient. People sometimes confuse turnips with rutabaga, but they aren't the same. Although closely related, they are different veggies.
Rutabaga vs Turnip: What's the Difference?
Rutabaga is bigger, and yellow, and the turnip, which is white and purple, is smaller. Rutabaga is sweeter and milder than turnip. When you cook rutabaga, it has a mellow sweetness and they are delicious mashed or in casseroles, soups, and stews, like this apple chicken stew. You may also know them as swedes. 1 medium rutabaga (although you're probably not likely to set down and eat a whole one, unless you want to, and really, why not?) has 161% of your daily requirement for vitamin C. Besides 38% dietary fibre, 18% calcium, and 11% iron. If you need more convincing, read this article on The Kitchn: Why You Should Give Rutabaga a Chance. Fun rutabaga fact: you know that neon coloured candied fruit for making fruit cakes? A good portion of it is actually rutabaga!
Rutabaga is a star in this stew along with another under used root vegetable, parsnips, as well as carrots. Any apple variety will work. I had some Spartans, so that's what I used, but I think a more tart Granny Smith would be especially good.
And you can do this in the slow cooker, too. I have included instructions in the recipe notes.
Here's How to Make Apple Chicken Stew
- 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1" cubes
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 stalks celery chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh sage chopped
- 1 " fresh ginger peeled and minced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 cups peeled and cubed rutabaga
- 1 cup peeled and diced parsnip
- 1 cup peeled and diced carrot
- 4 tbsp all purpose flour
- 2 cups unsweetened apple juice
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 apples peeled, cored, and sliced
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
Heat oil over medium high in a large pot or dutch oven.
Season chicken with salt and pepper
Brown chicken on all sides, in batches, and remove to a plate. (About 5 minutes per batch)
Reduce heat to medium low and add onions, sage, ginger and garlic to the pan.
Cook stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes
Turn heat up to medium and add rutabaga, parsnips, and carrots to the pan
Cook 2 minutes, stirring occassionally
Sprinkle the veggies with flour and sir to coat, cooking for 1 minute
Stir in apple juice and stock, continuing to stir until thickened and smooth.
Stir in thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, and chicken
Reduce heat and allow to simmer until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.
Add apple slices and cook for a further 5 minutes
Taste and adjust salt & pepper if required
Remove from heat and serve hot, garnished with parsley
boneless, skinless chicken thighs can be used in place of the chicken breast, and you could also substitute cubed pork loin in this recipe. This recipe is using sodium reduced chicken stock. If you use a higher salt stock, you may not want to add more salt. Slow Cooker Version: Omit the oil. Put all ingredients except flour, apple juice and stock in the slow cooker and cook on low 5-8 hours, depending on your slow cooker. Reduce stock to 1/2 cup.At the end of cooking time, whisk together flour, apple juice and stock until smooth. Stir gravy into chicken & vegetable mixture, and heat on high until gravy has thickened.
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