I decided rather last minute that I needed to cook a new batch of something for Atticus as his stock of meals was running low again. What I needed was therefore something easy to throw together in large portion with enough gap time during the cooking process for me to attend to Ainsley.
That meant going the one pot route. These are my favourite to make because so fuss free. One pot meals are economical, convenient and they produce great flavours from the long cook time to boot. They are also a great way to clear out the fridge.
Today I made creamy chicken stew for his dinner. It’s a throw back to those hearty pot pie stews that get served in bread bowls (who doesn’t love this comfort food) except suitable for toddlers because no salt is used. And of course, it’s such a breeze to freeze so that when you need it, just ladle over some rice or cous cous any time to get a flavourful easy-to-eat healthy meal for the kiddo!
Ingredients (8 toddler servings)
- 1 boneless chicken thigh
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 2 tsp diced yellow onion
- pepper to taste
- 1/2 carrot, diced finely
- 1/4 zucchini, diced finely
- 3 brown mushrooms, diced finely
- 1/4 red pepper, diced finely
- 2 large asparagus, sliced thinly
- 2 medium sized potatoes
- 1/2 cup frozen corn
- 1 cup of milk
- 1/4 cup plain flour
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp olive oil
Peel and boil the potatoes for about 10 mins. Then cut them into cubes. (These will end up soft by the time the stew is done so the cubes don’t have to be cooked very long or cut that small.) You should get about 2 cups of cubed potatoes.
Fill a sauce pan with water and bring to a boil. Throw in the garlic cloves and 1 tsp of the diced yellow onion along with the chicken thigh. Boil for about 20 minutes or until just cooked. Remove the chicken from the stock and set aside to cool. (Keep the chicken stock in the pan as it will be used for the stew.) Once the chicken has cooled, shred the meat to the desired length and size suitable for your toddler. Mine is rather fussy about textures still so I tend to shred the chicken quite finely by hand and then cut the pieces short.
In a frying pan, heat the olive oil and saute the minced garlic. Add in the onions, carrots, mushroom, zucchini and red pepper, in that order and stir fry. Add the frozen corn and the cubes of potatoes finally when the veggies etc are quite done. Turn off the heat and transfer the saute mix into a large pot.
Add about 2 cups of the chicken stock from earlier together with the milk into the pot and bring to a boil. Add in the flour, thyme, nutmeg, curry powder and pepper. Stir well.
Let the stew simmer for about 45 minutes over very low heat, partially covered and stirring occasionally. It should reduce by about a quarter and thicken nicely. Add in the shredded chicken and simmer for another 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let stand for about 30 minutes.
Portion the stew in containers and let them cool thoroughly before freezing. Pop them out of the containers and store the frozen stew blocks in a labeled freezer bag.
To reheat, fill a deep pan with an inch of water. Place one stew block on a plate and place it in the pan, covered, over medium heat for about 20-30 minutes.
Serve warm over carbohydrate of choice!