Italian White Bean Stew With Chicken & Artichoke

Italian White Bean Stew With Chicken & Artichoke

Serves 4

2 skin-on and bone-in chicken breasts (1 ½ to 2 pounds)
12 ounces frozen artichoke hearts (thaw and chop to1-inch pieces)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 Bay leaf
3 “halved” cloves of garlic
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 “diced” onion
1 can (15-ounce) of cannellini beans (drained and rinsed)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cans (14-ounce) of low-sodium chicken broth
½ cup of “chopped” and tightly packed fresh basil leaves
2 “peeled” carrots (cut to ½ inch pieces)
4 ounces pancetta (cut to ¼ inch pieces)
2 “thinly sliced” celery stalks
1 teaspoon of fresh ground pepper and salt or more to taste

In a large (5 to 6 quart) saucepan, place the oil and heat over medium-high heat. For 10 to 12 minutes, cook the pancetta until it is crispy and brown (stir it as it cooks). Place some paper towels on a plate and transfer the pancetta (with a slotted spoon) to the towels for draining.

Now, add to the saucepan, celery, garlic, onion, carrots, pepper, and salt. Cook approximately 5 minutes or until the onion appears translucent. Add the chicken broth, thyme, basil, bay leaf, and tomato paste (keep stirring as these items are added). It is time to add the chicken and bring the liquid to a simmer; it will be necessary to submerge or press the chicken down into the liquid. The dish should simmer (at medium-low heat) uncovered for about 20 minutes; half way through this cooking, turn the chicken over.

It is now time to add the cannellini beans and artichokes before simmering for another 10 to 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. When the chicken is cooked, place it on a cutting board and allow approximately 5 minutes for cooling. Then, remove/discard the bones and skin and cut the meat into chunk or serving pieces. Place the meat back in the saucepan and simmer for another 5 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaf and season with salt and pepper if desired. Ladle the stew into bowls and use the pancetta for garnish.

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