It's just as easy to make chicken stew as it is to make beef stew. Use thigh and drumstick meat for this recipe. The recipe serves six to eight.
Season the chicken thighs (or drumsticks) on all sides with salt and pepper. If you prefer to take the skin off, pull it off before you season.
Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
Add the chicken and brown well on both sides.
Remove chicken pieces as they brown and set them aside.
Spoon out 30 ml (2 tbsp) of the oil and reserve.
Place the onions and carrots in the pan and sauté them in the remaining oil until tender.
Return the chicken to the pot, add the thyme and chicken stock and bring the stew to a slow simmer.
Simmer slowly for 30 minutes if using whole thighs or drumsticks. If using chopped meat, simmer for 20 minutes.
Skim off and discard any foam and oil that rises to the surface during cooking.
If using whole thighs, remove and discard the bones and chop the meat coarsely, then return it to the pot.
Combine the reserved 30 ml (2 tbsp) oil and the flour in a small pan and cook over medium heat. You can do this while the stew simmers.
Stir the flour/oil mixture constantly with a wooden spoon. When the mixture turns golden brown, remove it from the heat and let it cool slightly. You've just made roux.
Spoon half the cooked roux into the stew, whisking constantly as you add it.
Return the stew to a simmer and cook another 10 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. It will thicken at this stage. If you want a thicker stew, add more roux and continue simmering until your get the desired thickness.
Taste and correct seasonings and serve.
Thigh, wing and drumstick meat is the best to use for stew. Breast or white meat tends to dry out and toughen when cooked for long periods in liquid, so save white meat for other uses. It's up to you whether or not to leave the thighs whole during cooking, although it's worth noting that the bones add flavour. If you start with chopped raw meat, be sure to shorten the cooking time. Once made, this stew is excellent in chicken pot pies. Vegetables such as diced potatoes, pearl onions, peas and green beans make good additions to the stew. You can also add a few bay leaves and parsley sprigs during the simmering stage.