Chicken and Vegetable Stew with Wild Herbs

..or as they may call it in France: “Ragoût de poulet avec des légumes et herbes sauvages”  Ah yes, those savage herbs.  Let’s talk about those for a bit shall we?

In my recent gourmet excursion to Cyber Cucina, this was one of the very many treasures that found its way into my basket. Terre Exotique d’Herbes Sauvages.  I’m all over this one!

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Interestingly, these herbs are not French in origin but rather from the Island of Crete.  Which, if I remember any of my high school geography, is located in the Mediterranean Ocean in between Greece and Turkey.  Just take a look at this shot.  I’m imagining the herbs growning wild and filling the air with sweet scents…

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This mixed blend contains thyme, rosemary, basil, marjoram and oregano.  Such a classic Mediterranean inspired combination and all tucked away in a beautiful canister.  The aroma upon opening was…intense and a bit intoxicating. I admit I closed my eyes for a brief second and imagined the warm breezes of the ocean and sweet smell of the land.  Yes, I know, I really need to get out more often don’t I?

Thinking of recipes to create using this spice blend was easy because it’s so versatile.  Any style of Mediterranean cooking would benefit from them and that covers a LOT of territory.  I initially thought of a lamb dish but in the end,  thought you’d love an easy and healthy chicken stew, made even more delicious with the addition of these beautiful herbs.

The base of this stew is a colorful array of fresh veggies.

VeggiesA great way to start, right?  Then throw in wedges of new potatoes:

2013-10-13 15.44.41Some smoky fire roasted tomatoes:

2013-10-13 15.45.34Then season your chicken with some salt, pepper and of course, this:

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Saute it all up in a skillet, let it simmer away for a mere 10-15 minutes, and you are finis!  Serve hot with a little chopped fresh parsley or if you want a little spoonful of black olive tapenade and a baguette.  You’ll love the bright flavors and warm spices and start dreaming up new uses for this versatile, wild SAVAGE blend!  To purchase these unique herbs, visit Cyber Cucina online at www.cybercucina.com.

Chicken and Vegetable Stew with Wild Herbs

2 medium carrots, chopped

1 medium zucchini, chopped

1 medium red pepper, cored, seeded and chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

2 large cloves garlic, minced

2 TBS extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 pounds new potatoes, cut into thin wedges

1 pound chicken tenders, diced OR 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, diced

1 TBS Terre Exotique Wild Herbs (plus more to taste)*

Kosher flake salt and coarsely ground black pepper

1 can (about 14.5 oz) diced fire roasted tomatoes (do not drain)

1 cup dry white wine

1 quart + 1 cup chicken stock

Fresh parsley

Season chicken with salt, pepper and about half of the wild herb blend.  Heat 1 TBS of the olive oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat.  Brown the chicken briefly (just to give it a little color), then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add remaining olive oil to the pan and add carrots, zucchini, red pepper, and onion.  Saute until slightly softened, about 5 minutes.  Add minced garlic and continue to saute for about 30 seconds.  Season vegetables with some salt, pepper and remaining wild herbs then add the cup of wine; let boil down for about a minute.  Add the potatoes, tomatoes, and broth.  Cover the pan and bring to a boil.

Remove cover and add chicken.  Lower the heat and continue to simmer until the chicken and vegetables are cooked through (about 10-15 minutes longer.  Season stew to taste with additional salt, pepper or wild herbs, if desired.  Garnish with some chopped parsley and serve.

Yields: 6 servings

*Other mixed herb blends can be substituted for the Terre Exotique should you so desire.

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