Friday, 24 June 2011

summer stew

it is summer isn't it?

whilst it's not particularly cold out there it's hardly what i'd call a scorcher... I guess all us Brits need to finally come to the realisation that summer has moved to April and May and that from June onwards we can expect drizzle... fairly warm drizzle... like the tropics... only not tropical!

it's the kind of confusing weather where you're unsure what to cook... salads in the evenings just don't cut the mustard, yet a full on, dark and fatty stew just seems wrong... so a lovely, light stew, packed with flavour and slowly roasted is, i feel, a perfect fit.

Slow Roasted Chicken Stew with Brown Rice and Lentils

I had these frozen chicken breasts left over from my Sainsbury's delivery a few weeks back but you know me, I'm not mad keen on this tasteless, dry meat, but I hate waste and actually I think they're perfect in here for this... i've also thrown some fennel seeds in for an extra aniseed hit, which is lovely but still light and summery.

I think this is a great dish for a lazy, rainy weekend when all you want to do is turn the oven on and let it do all the work...

4 chicken breasts - cut into large pieces
2 carrots - cut into chunks
1 medium onion - cut into wedges
1 small red onion - cut into wedges
4 cloves of garlic - left whole with skin on
a handful of green beans
a handful of cabbage - sliced into large pieces
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 a cup of green lentils
1/4 a cup of organic brown rice
1 pint of stock
1 glass of white wine
fresh herbs of your choice - I used fresh tarragon and thyme

- in a large roasting dish, or casserole dish roast the veg and herbs and fennel seeds, with a glug of olive oil and half the glass of wine, do this stage gently on 160c for about an hour, until they're tender and just beginning to turn golden.

- reduce the heat to 100c, then add the chicken, a fresh batch of torn herbs, lentils, rice, stock and the rest of the wine, cover with either a lid or foil and let it gently roast for a further 2 hours until it's completely tender and the rice and lentils have soaked up plenty of chickeny juice.

eat and of course, enjoy!


  1. We still have the heat coming on twice a day .... don't ever remember that in June before :-((

    Love this stew Dom, it's so healthy you could have a huge slice of cake afterwards and still not feel guilty!!

  2. I can send you some more summer if you'd like... it's been 111-113 here for the last week :)
    I love this stew...think I might wait until it cools down just a bit though... have this bookmarked!

  3. I could really go for that stew Dom! You're right- where's our Summer? Boo Hoo!
    Do you use a slow cooker ever Dom? I think your stew would be ideal for one!
    I go through fads with mine.

  4. thanks guys

    @BVG... I know... i mean those heating bills are gonna be mahoosive!

    @Jenn... yes please ... and don't brag about it!

    @ Anna... I dont have a slow cooker but lots of people have suggested this as an option for the lack of kitchen in a couple of weeks time... so I may yet invest!

  5. Haha, I've given up wanting a summer this July/August! I'll just make lovely stew and listen to the rain outside instead :)

  6. looks lovely - and very healthy to boot. Good for warding off any summer sniffles. Though I'm going to be a Pollyanna and maintain the sun is just around the corner...

  7. I'm with Katy on this - let's be optimistic. Last year the first week of July was boiling! BTW this stew looks fab at any time of the year :)

  8. It hasn't stopped raining here for weeks. No wonder it's the emerald isle. Your stew sounds lovely. x

  9. Chicken stew sounds perfect for a chilly summers eve. It looks flavorful and rich yet not heavy. Perfect!

  10. This looks delicious Dom...great for these rainy evenings, but don't despair about the weather, you may still be able to get the BBQ out this weekend...It's throwing it down in Oxford at the moment but the forecast for tomorrow is awesome and I've checked your neck of the wood too, it should be 23c tomorrow and Sunday 27c and Monday...!!

  11. Weren't you meant to be in London - how did you get the time to do all this cooking and baking? Sounds very good though, despite the chicken, I like the combination of textures and and flavours in this.

  12. This would be a perfect meal tonight. It's raining and cold here and having the oven on would warm up the house a little. This recipe of yours looks yummy.

  13. I'm with Susan! I had the oven on low all day yesterday making a pot of baked beans and today I baked cookies just to warm the kitchen up. Your stew may be on the docket for tomorrow, as more rain and cool weather is in the offing! Summer? What summer? Crazy!

    DO get the crockpot, Dom. It will give you a break from using the grill ... can't wait to see the new Belleau Kitchen!

  14. That looks completely perfect. I could use a bowl with a big hunk of bread. (Rest in peace, Lucretia.)

  15. I love this idea, I have the same dilemma because it's been so cold and wet this spring. I've been wearing my Ugg boots nonstop, so no salads for us yet, either. I love stews but usually only make them in the colder months. I'll definitely try this one.

  16. I'm adding you to the blogs I follow on the recommendation of another fellow blogger. If you care to, have a look at

  17. Lovely warming stew, but oh I long for some warm sunny days!

  18. I also read this and immediately thought it would be perfect for the slow cooker. It's definitely summer today - hope you're enjoying it! xo

  19. I think its still summer, it just likes to get to midday and change its mind, just to keep us on our toes ;-)

    I've been cooking stews and pasta bakes, though feels a bit 'wrong' for June!! Your casserole looks scrummy, love the sound of all those ingredients!


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