The past three weeks were a pretty a fantastic blur of friends, family, coffee, wine, cheese, ginger cookies, caramel popcorn, dark chocolate salted caramel tart, roasted jalapeno artichoke dip, lasagna, roast beef, pizza, and… did I mention wine… and coffee?!?
It is now January, however, the holidays are officially over and it is cold in St. Louis. It is no longer the kind of cold that is trimmed with twinkling Christmas lights and warmed with hot cocoa… it is just January cold (and dark, but I will save the dark drama for a post on the February-funk).
In an attempt to not blow my New Year’s resolution(s) on January 1 or 2, I decided to head in the kitchen and tackle the remains of a roasted chicken. I chopped and reserved the remaining meat for the stew and used the bones to make a quick and easy slow cooker stock, in an attempt to maximize our use of food and reduce our waste.
This is a pretty great way to up-cycle a protein and an easy and satisfying stew that will help you wean off your holiday indulgences.
3 Tablespoons olive oil
3 cups chopped onion (2 medium onions)
5 cloves chopped garlic
2 cups chopped carrots (4 medium carrots)
28 oz. can diced tomatoes in juice
2 cups dried great northern beans (rinsed and soaked over night)
3 teaspoons salt (to taste)*
½ teaspoon pepper (to taste)
Rind of parmigiano reggiano cheese
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
8-10 cups chicken stock
8 cups chopped kale
Place the remains of a roasted chicken in the crock pot (remove skin and large portions of meat). Add approximately 10 cups of water, 1 roughly chopped onion, 1 roughly chopped carrot, and 2 bay leaves. Let simmer on low heat overnight. Strain the stock to remove the solids and skim the fat off the top You can always use store bought stock, but may want to reduce the amount of added salt.
Rinse and soak 2 cups of navy beans overnight.
Heat olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the chopped onions, garlic, carrots, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Sweat the vegetables over medium heat until soft, but not browned (5-8 minutes). Add the 2 cups of soaked beans and the diced tomatoes with their juice. Season with an additional teaspoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning. Bring vegetables and beans to a simmer for 5-10 minutes.
Add 8 cups of chicken stock to the vegetable/bean mixture and drop in the rind from a wedge of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Simmer for about an hour until the beans are soft.
Add 2 cups of cooked chopped chicken and slowly stir in the chopped kale, one cup at a time. Add additional chicken stock and salt, as needed, and simmer for an additional 15 minutes.
Serve with large shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and crusty bread!
Confession of a *wannabe* foodie… also best served with wine, but then again… isn’t everything!