Chicken Stew with Chickpeas and Plum Tomatoes

by Meri on March 5, 2012

Can it really be March already? I feel like my time to make one pot chili and stew recipes is coming to an end. For some reason I have this weird mindset that these dishes are strictly for winter months. Of course you can make them throughout the year, they just seem to taste better in the winter! Am I alone here with this strange thinking? Of course you can argue that warm dishes are soothing during the cold months but let’s face it, the weather in Southern California has been in the 60′s and 70′s all winter so I don’t really have that excuse. Well, tonight we’re having one of my favorite standby recipes from my latest book, the Mediterranean Diet Cookbook for Dummies, before I lose my winter months for good.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I LOVE these types of meals as they are easy for me with toddlers running around.  I simply prep my vegetables and brown my chicken during nap time and then it’s so simple to throw everything into a pot and let it simmer until dinner is ready. Finding time to cook is one of the biggest challenges for me. If I try to prep and cook while they are awake I get sidetracked about 20 times for diaper changes, temper tantrums, fighting over toys or Mr. trying to push and drag me away from the project at hand. Television works great  for keeping 2 of my kids busy, but not Mr. Nope, he’s like a cat and staples himself to my side when I’m working on something. He’s very helpful in the kitchen, but knife work isn’t something I’m ready for him to grapple with. Maybe next year…(kidding, kidding). This is why naptime cooking is the best situation for our family!

Prep time: 12 min     Cook Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes     Yield: 6 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 chicken thighs
1 small onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon salt
1 (14.5oz) can chickpeas, drained
1 large can (28oz) plum tomatoes
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
¼ cup red lentils
½ cup long grain rice
¼ cup lemon juice
½ cup cilantro, chopped


1 In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the chicken thighs and cook for 3 minutes on each side. Add the onion, celery, spices, and chickpeas and cook for 3 minutes to heat spices.

2 Pour in the tomatoes and chicken stock and then add in the lentils and rice. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat, cover and reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

3 Stir in the lemon juice and divide stew into 6 bowls. Garnish each bowl with 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro and serve.

Per serving: Calories 346 (From Fat 82); Fat 9g (Saturated 2g); Cholesterol 38mg; Sodium 721mg; Carbohydrate 47g (Dietary Fiber 6g); Protein 22g.

Excerpt from:Mediterranean Diet Cookbook for Dummies ®, Wiley Publishing, Nov. 2011

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Marla March 6, 2012 at 5:14 pm

I have tried this recipe and it really is good! I believe it is light enough to be a Winter or Summer dish!


Meri March 7, 2012 at 4:23 am

Thanks Marla! I agree, it is a light stew. One of my favorites!


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