If you were to ask me what my favourite world cuisine was, I would fire right back with the same answer every time: ‘Easy… Italian.’ – and that’s with absolutely no hesitations.
I don’t know – I just feel like our Italian friends have nailed it when it comes to cooking. Okay, the flavours that they use may not be anything particularly extraordinary; you can walk in to pretty much any supermarket or deli and pick up the key ingredients to whip up your favourite pizza, pizza or meat dish a la Italiano. But I think it’s fair to say that when all these harmonious herbs and appetite inducing aromas are combined together – they work. And they work REALLY well.
Working form home, I generally cook my food as and when I want it – and to me that’s a real privilege. However, there are times when I am out pretty much all day and want to come back to a dinner that is comforting yet exciting, nurturing and delicious to wind down with. Ya feel me? And that my friends is where the humble slow cooker really comes in to it’s own!
So here I give you my take on an Italian chicken thigh stew: Loaded with tender chicken that literally falls off the bone, sweet ‘n’ juicy tomatoes, hella of garlic, herbs galore aaaand an addition of hearty butter beans – just for good measure.
I kept things simple as possible with the side of steamed spinach (boring to some, but maaaan it hits the spot every time!) but you can mix things up and perhaps try a little peppery rocket to really amp up the Italian vibes.
Just make sure you have a crusty slice of bread to dunk in… As per, the old faithful rye variety is 100% recommended. I hope you enjoy this bad boy as much as I did, guys… Remember, keep it low ‘n’ slow!
- 4 skinless chicken thighs
- 1 white onion
- 5 carrots, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 2 bay leaves
- 250 ml hot water
- 1 tin butter beans, drained
- 1 tsp Italian herbs (basil and oregano are great)
- pink salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 large handfuls spinach
- ½ lemon
- In the morning, simply place the chicken thighs in a slow cooker with the onions, carrots, tomatoes, garlic, bay leaves, water, herbs, salt and pepper. Simply leave to cook on a medium heat all day – up until dinner time.
- minutes before serving, throw in the butter beans. You can also add in some additional fresh herbs like basil and parsley for extra flavour here.
- Remove the bones and use a fork to tear apart the chicken thigh pieces. Steam the spinach and serve up in a bowl. Feel free to season as you wish and squeeze with plenty of lemon!