As a child, I was always munching on a big bag of baby carrots. I would snack on carrots every day, sometimes polishing off a 5-pound bag in a couple of days. I must have had my snack every day before my mother came home from work because one day she stared at the palms of my hands in absolute horror.
My skin was such a bright shade of orange and she continued to stare when I washed and washed but the color didn’t come out. Eventually she noticed the huge bag of carrots was missing and let me know it was from them. In truth, my skin was fairly orange tinted for a long time, even after I took a break from my beta carotene rich friends.
Due to this incident, I try to not go overboard with Vitamin A-rich vegetables and broaden my horizons to include a number of others. While I still have a bit of an obsession with carrots, I’ve recently fallen in love with parsnips. A parsnip is a root vegetable similar to the carrot, but has a creamy white hue instead of the familiar orange tint. They are very versatile and can be used just like carrots—roasted, in soups, mashes and more. I wanted to mix a number of root vegetables together for a warm and comforting stew. This stew mixes carrots, parsnips and sweet potatoes together with chicken and herbs. I used fresh rosemary and dried thyme, but feel free to use dried and fresh herbs interchangeably. I really like to use fresh herbs best, but if you are using dried, I use either one-half or one-third of the fresh herb amount.
Chicken and Root Vegetable Stew
- 1 lb. Boneless Chicken Thighs
- 3 Tbsp. Olive Oil, divided
- ½ tsp Salt
- Pinch of black pepper
- ½ tsp. Garlic Powder
- 2 large Carrots, peeled and cut into large matchsticks
- 4 large Parsnips, peeled and cut into large matchsticks
- 2 Sweet Potatoes
- ½ Lemon, juice ¼ and slice 1/4
- 1 cup Cherry Tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1 cup Chicken Broth
- 1 medium Onion, chopped
- Garlic Powder
- 3 sprigs fresh Rosemary, 1 chopped, 2 whole
- 1 tsp. Dried Thyme
- 3 cups Lacinato Kale, chopped thinly
- Heat a large skillet with 2 Tbsp. olive oil over medium heat. Season the chicken thighs with salt, garlic powder, chopped rosemary and pepper. Lay the chicken thighs in the pan and sear for 3-5 minutes on each side. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan along with the onion. Stir the onion with a wooden spoon to lift up some of the browned chicken bits from the bottom of the pan. If the bottom of the pan is getting too brown, add a couple of tablespoons of chicken broth and stir. Add in the carrots and parsnips and sprinkle with salt. Cook for 1-2 minutes and add in the sweet potatoes, thyme, fresh rosemary, and tomatoes. Stir and then add in the rosemary, sliced and juiced lemon along with 1/2 cup of chicken broth. Cover the pan with a lid or foil and reduce the heat to medium-low heat. Cook for 5 minutes, uncover and stir.
- Add the chicken thighs back to the pan, stir, and add additional chicken broth if the pan is getting too dry. Cover the pan again and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and increase the stove to medium heat and stir in the kale. While the kale is cooking, shred the chicken with two forks and add the shredded chicken back to the pan. Once the kale is softened and tender, remove from heat and add salt to taste and stir in any additional herbs if desired.