This Chicken Stew is a welcome comfort to your senses. Different from a standard stew, using smoked paprika as an interesting back-note to the sauce which pairs nicely with the chickpeas and spinach for a bit of a Mediterranean nuance.
The stew takes less than an hour to make, but can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for the next day or so. It reheats very well, without losing any integrity of ingredients or flavor.
Serve this with a slice of crusty toasted bread, or spooned over steamed rice or egg noodles.
Chicken Stew with Chickpeas and Spinach
4-5 chicken thighs, bone-in
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups sliced onion, sliced vertically from stem to root
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon mild Spanish smoked paprika
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 14-oncue cans diced tomatoes, unsalted
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained
8 ounces fresh spinach
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat a large Dutch oven over a medium-high flame. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan, swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Remove the skin from the chicken thighs, discarding the skin. Season the chicken with 1 teaspoon of salt seasoning both sides. Place each piece in the hot pan with the bone-side facing up. Leave the chicken to brown in the pan for 5-7 minutes without turning. This will create good browning on this side of the chicken. Turn the chicken over to cook the bone-side for about 2 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan, setting aside on a plate. The chicken will not be cooked through at this point.
Working with the same pan that the chicken was cooked in with the browned bits on the bottom of the pan, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Transfer the sliced onions to the hot pan, season with 1 teaspoon of salt, stirring occasionally cooking for about 5 minutes. The onions will begin to soften and lightly brown. Add in the minced garlic and the smoked paprika, stir to combine, cooking for 30 seconds. Stir in the chicken stock, cooking the onions and garlic for another 5 minutes until the onions are soft.
Drain off and discard the liquid from one can of the diced tomatoes, keeping the 2nd can with the juice and the diced tomatoes. Add the contents of both cans to the pan with the onions. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in the drained chickpeas, stirring to combine. Continue simmering until the sauce is slightly thickened, 5-7 minutes. Add in the spinach, stirring to incorporate as the spinach wilts. Season with the remaining teaspoon of salt and the pepper.
Place the partially cooked chicken thighs into the pan with the vegetables, slightly submerging the chicken under the vegetables. Place the lid onto the pan. Transfer the Dutch oven to the preheated oven, cooking for 25 minutes, until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees.
Remove the pan from the oven. Carefully remove the lid, gently stir the contents to cover the chicken. Spoon one chicken thigh and a generous portion of the vegetables and sauce into a serving bowl. Serve with grilled bread if desired.
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