Rich and juicy tomato chicken stew is one of my favourite naturally grain and gluten-free dishes. You might not think of stew as a summer dish but by using fresh, ripe tomatoes in season this dish is full of the flavours of summer.
Rewind 20 or so years ago…(gulp, age is just a number, repeat.repeat.) living in London, away from home for the first time I was impressed by a friend could make her own cheese sauce and garlic bread, and I mean simply adding the garlic to butter, you get the picture.
I was impressed I could open a jar of Dolmio!
Roll on a few years into the 90’s and Mr Cockney Geezer Jamie Oliver was teaching us all to make our own tomato sauce from tinned tomatoes. I was super impressed. I could cook?!
In recent years I’ve learnt of the not so great reasons you might want to stop using tinned tomatoes, due to the BPA content increasing the risk of some cancers, neurological effects, heart disease and more, (see below for more info) and started using organic pasatta.
Then my husband started making his own tomato sauce, with fresh tomatoes. Really a very simple task and one I thought maybe not worthy of the effort. But boy was I wrong.
If you’ve never have, try it. Making your own tomato sauce is like the difference between Dolmio and making your own tomato sauce from tinned or pasatta tomatoes X 10. Really worth while and tastes sublime.
I love this with minted green, garlic green beans and maybe a green salad, or sweet or new potatoes.
I would strongly recommend using organic tomatoes as like many soft skinned veggies and fruit tomatoes that easily absorb pesticides they are best bought organic.
This year saw the inclusion of tomatoes for the first time in the EWG (Environmental Working Group) dirty dozen, created from measuring the levels of pesticides in different fruit and veg. A very useful guide in deciding what fruit and veg to always buy or grow organically.
Rich and juicy tomato chicken stew
A delicate but rich and juicy tomato chicken stew perfect for summer dinning.
Feeds 4 as a main meal
- Approx. 100g, 3.52 ounces x tomatoes, I used a mixture of organic vine, plum and cherry
- 1/4 of a cup, 60ml, 4 table spoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large bell pepper sliced into 1/2 cm width strips
- 100g, 3.52 ounces, 8 x organic, free range chicken thighs
- 300g, 10.5 ounces x shallot onions peeled
- 3 x cloves of garlic, crushed or grated
- Maldon Salt
- Black Pepper
- 300g, 10.5 ounces, fine green beans
- 1 x tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 x small handful of mint leaves finely chopped
- 1 x clove of garlic grated or minced
- Maldon or alternative sea salt
- Black Pepper
- Add a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to a large oven proof pan, that has a lid. On a low heat gently fry the onion, and stir for a min or two before adding the tomatoes bottom side up and add the rest of the extra virgin olive oil. Simmer on a low heat with the lid on until the tomatoes begin to break down this can take up to 45 mins depending on the tomatoes and pan, check every 15 mins and stir. Then squash the tomatoes up (at this stage you can remove the skins if you want a smooth sauce and blend the tomatoes rather than squashing them.) The sauce can at first be quite watery, if this is the case turn the heat up slightly and reduce the sauce for approx. 5 mins. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 3, 160c, 325f and turn the heat off the tomato sauce. Add the oregano to the sauce and give it a good stir before placing the chicken thighs and pepper slices and whole onions in the pot. Season with salt and pepper, place the lid on and leave in the oven for 45 mins.
- Add the green beans to pan of water rising to the boil, simmer for 5 mins before rinsing in cold water. Add the oil to the pan, and gently heat before adding the beans, garlic and mint mixed well together and heat gently for 1 to 2 mins before eating.