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Jan 11, 2013 03:46 PM

Chicken Stew Question

How would you thicken this stew recipe? I am afraid to make it too "floury".

2 cups chopped onion
2 cups cubed, cooked boneless chicken breast meat
1 cup chopped celery
2 cups whole peeled tomatoes, with liquid
2 cups sliced carrots
5 cups chicken broth
1 cup sweet corn
1 cup peas
1 cup sliced zucchini

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  1. I'm sorry but that isn't a stew.

    Are the veggies raw?

    1 Reply
    1. re: C. Hamster

      2:1 solids to broth ratio, even allowing for liquid fro the vegetables, is much more stew than soup in my book. randyjl, if you thicken it with a flour-and-butter roux it won't be floury. You could also do beurre manie, just rubbing flour into butter and stirring lumps of that into the stew. If you cook it for a bit after it's thickened there'll be no raw-flour taste, especially if you use perhaps 1 Tbs for each two cups of liquid total, or even less. You just want a light thickening, I assume, a good bit less than gravy. Cornstarch and potato starch are easier, especially potato, but you have to take care it doesn't turn gloppy, like those awful canned soups.

    2. I don't think a flour/butter roux would necessarily make it "floury." You don't need much flour — perhaps a tablespoon or less. Cook the flour in the butter, then add liquid from the stew to the roux, not the other way around. This allows you to check the consistency before adding it back to the stew.

      1. Aside from the flour/roux option, add potato - it will help "suck up" the excess liquid. Either that, or significanty reduce the broth

        1. Making a "stew " with precooked chicken breast is a recipe for disaster no matter how you thicken it.

          2 Replies
          1. re: C. Hamster

            Good point. I would use only thighs, and they should cook in the stew.

            1. re: C. Hamster

              Not necessarily. I'd think it'd depend more on the stock.
              Sometimes we'll have leftover X and make a "X stew" outta it. OK perhaps not a textbook definition of "stew" but tasty nonetheless.

            2. I'd make a roux as Will suggests.
              Roux is a very powerful thickener, and difficult to guage the first few times around.
              I'd melt maybe 1/2 stick butter (margerine will work too) and whisk in as much flour as you can, bit by bit.
              Once the roux is made, set to the side. I like to ladle a few cups of liquid from the stew (or soup or whatever) into a new pot, bring it to a simmer, whisk in a tablespoon of the roux at a time until quite thick. Stir this mix back into your simmering stew.
              If not thick enough, repeat until you get the consistency you're looking for.