“Greek” Chicken & Chick Pea Stew

Another good one from No Whine With Dinner!  The best thing about this stew is that it takes about thirty seconds to put together – just toss everything in the slow cooker, wait 4 hours and you’re done.  Ok, you also have to make orzo at some point before those 4 hours are up.  But honestly, this is one of those recipes that just makes you want to kiss whoever invented the slow cooker.

The other best thing about this stew is how much Dylan loves it.  I mean, it got him to eat feta cheese AND olives.  I suspect sorcery is involved.

Since I’ve been home on maternity leave, I haven’t yet had a chance to test whether or not this can be left on low for 8 hours instead of 4 – the whole point of a slow cooker, IMO, is that it makes dinner for you while you’re out of the house doing other things, so if I want to keep making this dish after going back to work, it needs to be something I can turn on in the morning and come home to around 5.  Or I could upgrade to a slow cooker with a timer.  (My current one cost $15 and has one dial with four settings – High, Low, Warm, and Off.  It’s not fancy, but it works.)

I changed this recipe a bit – ironically for a cookbook written by two nutritionists, my main complaint with many of the recipes in No Whine is that they don’t contain enough vegetables!  Granted, I’m not dealing with a super-picky eater, but most of these “makeovers” seem to take food that would normally contain no vegetables, and add ONE.  In this recipe, the vegetable is…chick peas.  Buzzah?  So I swapped out the canned tomato sauce (blech) for a can of whole peeled tomatoes, and added 2 red bell peppers, a zucchini, and 10 oz of fresh baby spinach.  Nom nom nom.  Now it’s healthier AND prettier.

One note – there is no salt in this recipe for a reason.  Between the olives and the feta cheese, it really doesn’t need any more.

  • 1 whole boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into pieces
  • 1 28-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes, with juice
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced
  • 1 zucchini, shredded
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, chopped roughly
  • 1 tsp oregano (or 2 tsp fresh)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 10-oz package baby spinach, washed
  • crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 box orzo

Put first 10 ingredients (chicken through pepper) in the slow cooker, cook on low for 4 hours, or until chicken is tender and cooked through.  At some point, cook the orzo.  (Toss it with a little olive oil to prevent sticking.) Just before serving, stir in the spinach until it wilts.

Serve the stew over the orzo and top with crumbled feta cheese.

"It was really delicious and I ate it all up and then I ate the orzo!" Dylan Report: This was a bit of a gimme since he asked me to make it (after we had it last week), but I am pleased to report that he ate it up tonight just as happily.  (Anyone with a preschooler knows that this was not a foregone conclusion – the number of times I’ve made something he loved only to have it brutally rejected the next day is roughly equivalent to the number of gray hairs I have.)

  1. #1 by JenP on February 12, 2011 - 2:37 am

    So, not having a slow cooker – simmer on stove for a couple hours… longer? Sounds delicious.

    • #2 by jessica on February 12, 2011 - 3:31 pm

      Hmm…on the stovetop I’d probably simmer it just until the chicken is cooked through, 30-45 minutes depending on how small you cut the pieces. I’d also use crushed tomatoes instead of whole in that case, since they won’t have time to fully soften and fall apart.

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