This chicken and white bean stew recipe came into my life at the perfect time.
When I got my positive COVID test in France, my brain immediately went to what the hell I would cook for myself to get me through the week. I needed something easy, comforting, with full chicken soup vibes, but hearty enough to also satiate my human garbage disposal of a husband.
Luckily, Alison Roman’s Twenty Twenty Stew landed in my inbox at just the right moment. Her bowl of goodness uses humble white beans and cabbage as the base, but gets a little pizzazz from frizzled onions and the requisite “dill girl” amount of dill.
Since I’d had my eye on the gorgeous glass jars of flageolets—the delicate, chic French cousin of other inferior white beans—I knew I had to make it. But since my gut is still not in a position where it can handle an ENTIRE bowl of legumes, I knew I’d have to make it a hybrid chicken and white bean stew.
This recipe was truly born out of the worst AirBnB kitchen I’ve ever had (we moved after one night), so it’s a testament to the ease of this one pot wonder that we were able to be well fed for 24 hours. It’s a long story, but we ended up having to make it on a hot plate since the induction stove broke!
To the cabbage, I added dried shitake mushrooms (but called for fresh below) and finished the beige party with a few large handfuls of baby spinach to add a little more green. And because, when in Paris, I stirred in a spoonful of Dijon.
The result is a chicken stew that is lemony, peppery and packed with veg, but is still slightly thick and luscious thanks to the beans. Even back home when I recreated it for you fine folks and was without the superior beans that came in their own flavorful bouillon, it was incredibly delicious and satisfying.
While I know on the surface this is absolutely not a low FODMAP or SIBO-friendly recipe, I want to ring home that stews like this are the perfect way to experiment with your diet, adding small quantities of previously no-no ingredients like I did here with the beans, onions and shitakes. If not all three, perhaps choose just one and give it a try. You can always up the quantity of the chicken or add other leafy greens to make up for any omissions.
Basically, don’t’ run away at the sheer mention of chicken and white bean stew. There are ways to play around and still enjoy the basic canvas of this dish.
Read on for the full recipe for this chicken and white bean stew with cabbage and dill. And if you’re curious about my Paris trip (pre-COVID at least!), I always update this post with new recommendations!
With health and hedonism,
Chicken and White Bean Stew with Cabbage and Dill
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs about 4
- Sea salt
- 2 tablespoons butter optional
- 1 sweet onion halved and thinly sliced
- 3 cups Chinese or green cabbage about ¼ of a medium head
- 8 shitake mushrooms thinly sliced
- ½ cup white wine optional
- One 15-ounce can cannellini beans white beans or flageolet, rinsed and drained
- 5 ounces baby spinach
- 1/3 cup roughly chopped fresh dill divided
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- In a large Dutch oven or heavy stockpot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Season the chicken on all sides with salt and place in the pan smooth-side down. Cook the chicken until nicely browned, about 4 minutes per side. Remove to a plate and set aside.
- Add the butter to the pan, if using, along with the onion. Sauté, stirring infrequently, until the onion has begun to brown and crisp, about 8 minutes. Remove half the onions from the pan and set aside.
- Stir in the cabbage and mushrooms and continue to sauté until soft, about 5 minutes more. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and pour in the wine, if using, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Mix in the beans and arrange in an even layer.
- Return the chicken to the pot, nestling it into the bean mixture. Add 4 cups of water, making sure that the chicken pieces are submerged. You can add more if necessary. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat, undisturbed, until the chicken easily breaks apart into pieces when pressed with a spatula, 30-40 minutes.
- Off the heat, stir in the spinach, half the dill, lemon juice and mustard. Allow the stew to sit for a few minutes so the spinach becomes fully wilted. Taste the broth for seasoning and add more salt as necessary.
- To serve, ladle the stew into bowls and garnish with the reserved dill and crispy onions.