Oliver’s Chicken Stew

IngredientsChicken, Pasta, Vegetables
Day PartLunch
Menu PartEntree
Cuisine TypeAmerican

Chef Jody Adams
Saloniki Greek, Porto restaurants 

Chef Jody Adams created this comforting one-pot meal for her son Oliver when he was a toddler, and after it was printed in a Boston newspaper, it became one of her most requested dishes. The lemon, olive oil, garlic, tarragon and Parmesan cheese “are flavors people grew up with,” she says. Adams recommends using fresh herbs and cooking the tiny pasta separately, stirring it into the pot at the end.


1 (3 lb.) whole free-range chicken
8 cups homemade or low-sodium canned chicken broth
5 medium carrots, peeled and sliced 3/4-inch thick on an extreme diagonal
5 celery stalks, peeled and sliced 3/4-inch thick on an extreme diagonal
4 medium leeks, white part only, trimmed of roots and tough outer leaves, sliced 3/4-inch thick on an extreme diagonal and swirled vigorously in a bowl of cold water to remove any grit
Bouquet garni (1 bay leaf tied with a few stalks parsley)
1 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
4 garlic cloves, smashed
1/2 cup stellini pasta
3 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp. fresh tarragon, chopped
Salt and pepper, as needed
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped

4 thick slices crusty Italian bread
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan, freshly grated


. Prepare the chicken by washing and setting it in a large, deep soup kettle, breast side down. Add chicken stock and 4 teaspoons salt (if using canned stock, first taste, then add salt as needed). Bring to boil and skim surface thoroughly. Lower the heat.
2. Add carrots, celery, leeks, bouquet garni, thyme and garlic. Adjust heat so water barely bubbles. Poach chicken breast-side down for 15 minutes, then flip over and continue poaching until chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes. Lift the chicken out of pot, transfer to a large plate and allow to cool.
3. Taste the vegetables. If tender, strain stock into large saucepan and set aside. If not yet tender, transfer along with stock to saucepan. Discard the bouquet garni. Set stock over medium-high heat and let simmer steadily until the liquid reduces by half, about 20 minutes.
4. In medium saucepan, bring salted water to boil for pasta. Begin removing meat from the chicken. As soon as chicken is cool enough to handle, remove skin and pull meat off bones. Discard skin and bones and shred meat into large pieces. Cover meat and set aside in a warm place.
5. When saucepan of water comes to rapid boil, add pasta. Cook until al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
6. When chicken broth has finished reducing, whisk in butter then add lemon juice and fresh tarragon. Taste for seasoning and add more lemon, and salt and pepper if necessary. Add vegetables, chopped parsley and pasta to broth. Keep warm over low heat.
7. To serve, brush bread with 1/4 cup olive oil and either toast or grill until golden. Sprinkle each slice of toast with 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Set 1 piece of cheese toast on each of 4 deep dinner plates. Distribute chicken over toast. Ladle broth, vegetables and pasta over chicken.

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