The Culinary Architect: Warm up your fall with a stew

Alexandra Troy

By Alexandra Troy

Fall is a wonderful time to eat and enjoy comforting one-pot stews. I love making a big pot of stew and enjoying friends over for a cozy meal. I augment the stew with add-ons.

These are bowls that have different foods that complement the stew. One of my favorite add-ons is chicken “chips.” Chicken “chips” are the skin from the chicken thighs baked in the oven until they resemble the consistency of a potato chip. These unhealthy morsels are scrumptious.

For ease and coziness, I like to set up the whole meal on my stove. The stew stays warm on a low burner and I place all the add-ons on a platter so the pieces of food don’t drop directly on my stove. The addition of a crisp romaine and radicchio salad with My Favorite Vinaigrette rounds out the meal.

Finally, one of the best things about this recipe is that the stew may be made up to two days ahead of time, the flavors just keep improving. So grab your Dutch oven and start warming up your kitchen with a hearty stew — your friends and family will be glad you cooked up such a delicious meal.

(Serves 6-8)

Stew with Kale and Chicken

Add-ons (all placed in separate bowls)
Chicken “chips”
Sliced red pepper*
Sliced red onion*
Jasmine rice*
Grated parmesan*
Cannellini beans*
Salad* with My Favorite Vinaigrette

*Recipe Not Given

Stew with Kale and Chicken

8 pieces skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs patted dry
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
4 large shallots, quartered lengthwise
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 bunch parsley, stems tied together with kitchen twine
2 bay leaves
8 cups torn curly kale leaves (I buy a bag of kale cleaned and chopped at Stop and Shop and most other grocery stores)
8 cups homemade or store bought chicken stock

1. Season chicken thighs all over with salt and pepper.

2. In a Dutch oven, place chicken skin side down over medium heat. Working in two batches, if needed, cook chicken thighs in the same pot until skin is golden brown, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer chicken to a large plate. Let chicken cool slightly, then pull skin from meat and transfer to a container, cover and chill (save for making “chips”).

3. Return pot to medium heat and saute shallots, until they are golden, about 5 minutes. Add wine and stock, stir to release the bits stuck on the bottom of pot and cook until reduced by two-thirds, about 6 minutes. Add parsley, and bay leaves salt and pepper to taste and bring to a simmer. Return chicken thighs to pot and bring stew back up to a simmer. Cover with a lid, leaving slightly ajar so steam can escape and cook for 1 hour.

4. Transfer thighs to a cutting board and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes, keep liquid at a simmer. Pull meat from bones and tear into strips. Place chicken back in pot and add kale and simmer until kale is tender and liquid is very flavorful, about 25 to 30 minutes.

5. Refrigerate stew at least over night. Remove the fat that has accumulated on the top of the stew. Reheat stew over medium low heat, serve with add-ons on the side.

Chicken “chips”

8 pieces of chicken thigh skin from the stew with kale and chicken.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Salt and pepper chicken skin.

2. Arrange chicken thigh skin (reserved from stew with kale and chicken) flat side up, in a single layer on a silpat-lined baking sheet and bake until crispy, approximately 30 minutes.

My Favorite Vinaigrette

1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 tsp. sugar
2 cups olive oil
Salt and pepper

1. In a Cuisinart, fitted with a steel blade, blend the vinegar, Dijon mustard, and sugar. With the motor running, slowly pour in the olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Alternatively, place all ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake vigorously, until combined. Always shake again before serving.

Alexandra Troy is owner of Culinary Architect Catering, a 35-year-old Greenvale-based company specializing in private, corporate and promotional parties. Need help making your parties delicious and stress-free?  Call 516-484-7431 and you will be a guest at your own party. If you make any of these recipes, send a photo to

About the author

Alexandra Troy

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