Shove-it-in-the-Oven Spring Stew

Even though spring isn’t officially here for another three solid weeks, the daffodils and crocuses are already making their appearance. And as I’m en route to Panama City, FL today, the flight attendant has just announced it’s 78 degrees in the northern part of the Sunshine State.

So now’s as good a time as any to debut Shove-it-in-the-Oven Chicken Stew. The weather’s right and the vegetables are certainly available. You may recall I ran a variation of this recipe a couple of months ago, but the technique is so easy and the stew so very good, that I promised more shove-it style stews. This one’s my favorite.

Just look at the vibrant spring colors–orange carrots, pale green leeks, along with purple, red, and yellow multicolored new potatoes–and the oven roasting doesn’t diminish their beauty. The finished dish is equally stunning.

Besides the freak snow storm on October 29th and a wimpy little dusting a few weeks ago, we have yet to see a decent snow this season. I keep thinking it’s coming but maybe not. Either way, now’s a good time to start welcoming spring. This stew is perfect for this in-between period, offering all the comfort of of winter and all the fresh beauty of spring.

Shove-it-in-the-Oven Spring Stew
Serves: 6 to 8

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into large pieces
  • 1 bunch leeks (about 4 medium), trimmed of dark green parts and root, light green and white part quartered lengthwise, cut into 1-inch lengths and washed thoroughly
  • 1½ pound new potatoes, your choice (red, yellow, purple, or a mix of all 3), halved
  • ½ pound carrots peeled and cut into medium chunks
  • ½ pound mushrooms, quartered if large, halved if small
  • 4 large cloves garlic, sliced
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons dried tarragon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup cream heavy cream

  1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Mix chicken, leeks, potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, garlic, olive oil, tarragon, and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper in a large heavy-duty roasting pan.  Set pan in oven and roast until cooked through and juices have released, about 45 minutes.  Remove from oven and set pan over two burners at medium-low heat. Stir in enough chicken broth to moisten; simmer to blend flavors and thicken slightly, a couple of minutes. Stir in cream; continue to simmer to heat through. Serve!


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  1. Sue says

    I would like nutrional info or Weight Watchers points on this dish and for all others in the future. Concerned about the 1/2 cup of heavy cream

    • says

      Although we three cooks generally watch calories, it’s not something we emphasize. I can tell you that 1 tablespoon of heavy cream is 50 calories. If this dish serves 6, the cream is contributing about 75 calories per serving to the dish.

  2. Mindy says

    Since finding you in the USA magazine and then your blog, my family is no longer plagued with the same boring meals each week from me. They’ve had cornish game hens on a weeknight, delicious soup and grilled cheese, fresh and flavorful iced tea, comforting banana pudding and so much more. Your recipes are always simple plus they always turn out great! Thank you for all of your work to make this happen. You three have made a big difference to our family!!!

  3. Kathy says

    If you are watching fat grams and calories, simply substitute fat-free evaporated milk for cream in any recipe. You will be surprised by the richness!

  4. sandy oldfield says

    looks great but i’d add a little vermouth or white wine for added flavor boost. love the tarragon!

  5. says

    I’m dreaming of spring already while I watch the snow fall out my window. This looks delicious and I have all the ingredients in the house. Thanks for sharing

  6. says

    Ahhh, this looks perfect! I only really cook things that use one pot anyway because I hate washing up (blame it on me being a student!!) but this looks way better than the things I’ve been making!
    I was thinking that maybe I’d do it without the cream, just some stock in it’s place, and then maybe add some greek yoghurt at the end, yum!

    • says

      To The Attic.

      I’m thinking the Greek yogurt might curdle here. Extra broth would work. Someone else has suggested fat-free evaporated milk. I actually prefer regular and 2% evaporated milk.

  7. Tara says

    Not sure if she’ll see this or not, but for Sue who commented about Weight Watchers/nutritional info…I do WW online and even if you attend meetings you can use the WW website…I enter recipes often that are from other websites (citing where it came from of course, and noting any changes I made if I tried to lighten it up)…you can easily enter the recipes exactly as written and the site will calculate the pointsplus for you! I do not share the recipes to the whole “community” online, I just keep them in my personal favorites so I can pull them back up anytime. It works great!

  8. Marlene says

    I made this recipe tonight with few adjustments for my Weight Watchers. It was Great! Omitted heavy cream and used nonfat half and half, 8 thighs, 3 potatoes. Also used 3 tbsp oil and then calculated 10 points a serving and mad 5 servings. I’m sure your way would be richer but I’m on my weight loss journey. Thanks.

  9. Mary Frances Ellison says

    I left the recipe on the kitchen counter yesterday morning and my husband and 14 year old son did the prep work and the “shove it in the oven” part, and I did the “finishing” part when I got home from work. It was a big hit with all four of us (including my 10 year old daughter) – we had to use Spanish onion instead of the leeks and we just had regular Yukon Gold potatoes – but my husband is already planning to seek out the leeks and some purple potatoes for the NEXT TIME! This recipe is definitely going to be in our regular rotation. Thanks, Pam!

  10. Divina says

    This was my first time cooking with leeks and it will certainly not be my last. I really like that mild oniony flavor the leeks impart… I also love how this dish is creamy, but not heavy. I think these shove it in the oven recipes are quickly becoming my favorite! Thanks so much Pam! ~ Divina

  11. says

    This is terrific. I’ve done this recipe 4x and more. Doing it again today, with some slight changes, depending on ingredients I have on hand. But it’s a great recipe and I just love to make it for my family. Thanks for sharing, Pam ! Happy weekend :-)

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