An Idiot’s Italian Chicken and Bean Stew.

Chicken and bean stewI was going to title this ‘An Idiots Guide to Cooking a Stew‘. But, I reckon the folk over at Dorling Kindersley would sue my idiot carcass all the way to illiteracy and back. They are the rightful owners to the Idiot’s Guides. So, I can’t use the title. Instead, I’m being a bit more general in my descriptor. I’m also being inclusive. Inclusive is good in this day and age. I don’t want to offend any particular minority grouping so I am making the statement that “Any Idiot Can Cook This Italian Chicken and Bean Stew”. Yes, that includes you. 

Now, if you aren’t the sort to be offended too easily, or if you are, in fact, an idiot you have  stuck with me thus far. This is a good thing as I will now reveal my easy Chicken and Bean Stew recipe.

Chicken and been stew ingredients.

Not many ingredients. But lots of idiot proof flavour.

As befits a guide of this sort, the ingredients list for my Italian Chicken and Bean Stew is not the most challenging.

  • 16 chicken thighs and or legs
  • 2 uncooked Chorizo sausages
  • 3 onions
  • 4 stalks of celery
  • 3 carrots
  • 600ml  (or so) of good chicken stock
  • 3 tins of Cannellini beans
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A couple of handfuls of fresh parsley

Side note on being Italian: I have done my homework on this one. Spanish and Portuguese might claim the sausage as their own. In fact they and the Italians all have sausages of similar style. They are all European and that’s Italian enough for me. In my book, the addition of the beans and the mirepoix of vegetables , known as the Holy Trinity, makes this as Italian as eating ice cream in the back seat of a rusting Fiat 128.

First slice the sausage into bite size chunks.

Sliced chorizo

Bite sized chunks of uncooked, European sausage. How Italian is that?

Place them in the bottom of a hot casserole dish (Dutch oven, but, I’m dealing with enough countries as it is).

Chorizo sausage frying

The sausage releases about three times it’s own volume of fat.

When the sausages have given up their fat, scoop them out of the casserole and add the chicken pieces (in batches) and brown on all sides.

Chicken frying

Don’t be a complete idiot. If you want a good stew, use good chicken.

While the chicken is frying, slice the vegetables. Get them nice and small to make a mirepoix. That adds complexity to the dish.

Mirepoix preparation in action.

Mirepoix preparation in action. Any idiot can do it.

Chopped vegetables take on a new dimension when they are called a mirepoix. Take out the chicken when browned. It will have given up a bit of fat too. Add the vegetables. Place the lid on the casserole and turn the heat down. Heat your oven to 190ºC. Simmer the vegetables on the stovetop. When they are soft, add back the chicken and the sausage.

Chicken pieces.

The chicken looks lovely. This really is idiot-proof.

Add the bay leaves and the stock.

Chicken and bean stew

The big blob is frozen chicken stock – Home made, another thing any idiot can do.

Place the casserole, lid on, in the oven. Let it cook for 10 minutes. Take it out and spoon off the layer of fat that will have risen to the top. If you are truly a dork, don’t do this. The fat will clog your heart and you will die an early (idiotically early) death.  Return the dish to the oven and cook for a further 20 minutes. Rinse the beans and add to the casserole.

Cannelloni Beans

The cannelloni beans are a foolproof way of getting carbs on board.

Cut the parsley from the plant and chop it up nice and small. Add it to the casserole and stir it to combine. Return to the oven and leave it to cook, uncovered for 15 minutes. This will make the sauce as thick as yourself and will also intensify the flavours. Your flavours won’t intensify.

Chicken and bean stew

Don’t be shy with the parsley. Use the stalks too.

Take the casserole out of the oven and serve at the table. This will help to keep the diners happy. They will want seconds so don’t make it difficult.

Chicken and bean stew

It’s a very tasty Italian(esq) stew worth trying, even if you are in Mensa.

If you have been dolt enough to read this far, I have some good news for you. Cooking this stew will not make you any less of a cretin. But, it will make you more popular. Think of yourself as a loveable idiot. Focus on the loveable, you can’t do anything about the idiot.

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Latest comments
  • Love it – I am striving to be a loveable idiot – you have got to have goals 🙂

    • The only way is up. As the old saying goes, we may be lying in the gutter but we are looking at the stars….

  • That looks delicious 🙂

    • Thanks MD. It is so simple to put together, any fool etc, etc….

  • This idiot, or eejit, stuck with you the entire time. Of course, perhaps the true eejits are the ones who think they can never learn a new trick? Either way, this idiot who is currently sweltering under a hot sun, wishes for a cool change and a big bowl of this stew to chow down upon. (I also wish for an orange Dutch oven. Just saying.)

    • Hi Lisa,
      The global nature of the blog posting really comes home to me when you tell me you are burning up under an unforgiving sun. I picked out a heavy wool suit and jumper to wear today because it’s raining, cold and miserable. Real stew weather. I’m not fooling around on that!

  • Love it Off to the butchers just now!!

    • They say brevity is the soul of wit. I love this reply. It’s a complete story in only eight words.

  • Lovely. I’ve had the BT engineer here all morning doing arcane things with my broadband so my brain is too fried to make smart puns about stupidity, but you’d be daft not to like that.

    • God help you. I one got into email communication with the chairman of BT over our broadband. The day after he replied, we had engineers crawling all over the house. However, we had to switch supplier as they couldn’t get it right. I feel for you. The lack of puns is forgiven this time. Forgiven but not forgotten….

      • You know you’re in trouble when they look at your antiquated telephone system and try not to laugh. I think ours was put in when Alexander Graham Bell was still a young man.

  • Yum! And I think I’m ok with the idea of being a loveable idiot.

    • If I could make it to loveable, it would be an achievement.

  • Hi Conor!
    The chorizo drew me into to this one! Stews and soups are about levels of flavor and judging by the ingredient list, this is loaded with flavor! Gonna save this recipe for future consumption!
    Thanks for sharing. 🙂


    • #loveableidiot who cannot spell things right the first time…lol!

    • I should not have started this. So many of the people I respect and admire, including you Debbie, are now calling themselves idiots. Where does this leave me?

      • Oh Conor, you have such a soft heart. We’re all playing along with you. xoxo

  • Looks tasty!!!

    • Thanks for the visit and the kind words Jojo.
      Too good of you!

  • That looks wonderful and your Tesco canned beans look pretty good too.

    • I hate putting the branded goods into the ingredients shot. A friend once told me I should buy a selection of top end cans to use only in photography. Then lump in the Aldi, Lidl and Tesco stuff when nobody i looking. He might have a point!

  • I’m all on board the #loveableidiot train! Here it is, not even 9 in the morning yet and I want to dash back home from the office and make this right now. I’ll be making this soon, Conor.

    • I now have a picture of a whole crew of bloggers being driven in a train towards total stupidity. The sad thing is I’m driving!

  • I’d say it wasn’t even necessary to be an idiot. This looks so good it’d be a complete and utter no-brainer.
    I *still* haven’t bought a sous vide machine, but I did buy, for the princely sum of $3 at the local charity shop, a Schlemmertopf, or clay roaster, brand new. They cost about 20 times that new, and make the world’s juiciest roasts, stews, crusty bread and other wonders. My mother had one, more years ago than it’s comfortable to think about, so I know how to use it. Roast chicken last night, that fell apart as I took it out, and about 500ml of fantastic broth in the bottom…

    • I have seen these but not for ages Kate. I want one. That way I can do casserole, sous vide and Schlemmertopf chicken comparisons. There is a blog pos in there for sure. Perhaps you will put your needlework to one side, lay down your baking tins and post a nice bi of chicken done in the Schlemmertopf (thanks be to goodness for cut and paste).
      Best as ever,

      • We laid waste to last night’s bird, so there’s just a pot of bones and stock and some leftovers for the Husband’s sandwiches, nothing photo-worthy. I’ll do another soon, it was too good not to. A lot quicker and cleaner than regular roasting, too.

  • So am I an idiot or do I not offend easily? 🙂 As usual, lovely dish.

    • It has to be the latter Virginia. Nobody could accuse you of the former. I have been missing your posts. Have I fallen off the radar or are you gone quiet?

      • Glad I’m not the former! I’ve been working 6-7 days a week on taxes. And the free time I’ve had I’ve been struggling with my back. I’ve missed posting! And reading all the posts as well. I’m trying to get back into it as much as I can. Good news is the tax season ends the 18th of April.

  • I’m drooling here! Like an idiot! 😀

  • Reminds me of a dish my grandmother and aunts use to make, “Chicken Scarpariello”. Sausage, whole chicken cut up, hot cherry peppers, white wine, chicken broth, mushrooms and potatoes…no beans and a bunch of spices. So good.

    • I like the sound of that Ed. My Mum used to cook a chicken casserole with whole sausages in. I must give that a go. From distant memory, she added potatoes during the cooking and it had a really thick, tasty gravy.
      I hope all s good with you. I see you very busy, through Facebook.

  • “They are all European”… That’s good enough for this idiot 😜
    Another cracking dinner and pics to boot! Nice one, Conor.

    • Thank you indeed. I did think that this was your kind of food as I cooked it. I have a rabbit and olive stew in the works too. Good enough to serve in the Stockpot Kitchen, I say!

      • Damn yes. I fricking love rabbit and olive stew no joke. Black or green olives though, that is the question…

        • Black. The guy selling them advised against the green. I was thinking of the photograph…..

  • Oh my… that looks amazing, Conor!!!

    • Thanks, it is really simple and packs a lovely punch of flavour. Using good quality chicken (and sausage) is key.

  • Another idiot checking in – would love to say I am ‘lovable’ but that kind’of depends on who is reading 🙂 ! This is a lovely dish call it what you will !! Can ‘t really go wrong and can substitute and still have fun at the table!!!! And a propos nothing: have been called an idiot about four times this morning – belonging to a lot of panels, our best local TV station yesterday asked for content ideas twixt 5pm and about 6.30 pm , and this idiot asked who the hell was watching TV at that time bar kids!! Early news: yes!! The first news commentaries: yes!! Oopla!! If you see an awful lot of bright lights bursting over Oz in the next day or so [methinks bigger the New Year’s on Sydney Harbour] oh come see I am still here . . . I just ‘love’ all the homework of Mr Google’s pics re fruitcakes, starry constellations, nuts, witches, loonies and others . . . one way to become ‘famous’ sans a blog 🙂 !!

    • Thanks Eha, It looks like you are causing quite a stir down there!

  • I’d say hooray for idiots, but it’s not so funny in my current political climate. Love that first pic. Looks so delicious.

  • Wot, no garlic? Looks damn tasty either way. Very nice, Conor.

    • I thought about that. The “Holy Trinity” of carrot, celery and onion are in there and they do a pretty fine job. I promise garlic next time.

  • For once idiocy has a great purpose and result!

  • Your posts often give me a chuckle but this one had me giggling out loud…you are so clever with your writing. I’ve decided that we must have anemic chickens here in the states as they don’t have a lovely yellow colored skin like your chickens have.

    • That’s from being corn fed. The chicken color, not the bit of humour. I don’t know what to blame for that.

      Thank you Karen. Nice comments like this keep me posting.

  • OMG I’m like, loving this? This would be sooooo amazing to eat with my new lipstick. The beans are small enough so that it won’t get smudged. I’m not sure about the chicken, because corn-fed is like, not my colour, but I’ll try anything in the name of blogging! Totes amaze, Conor. Another smash hit post which is like, so topical? Because, like, smiley face.

    • There is a danger, slim and all as it is, that one fo them might read this stuff Tara. Then where would you be? You would be barred from Pennies, for a start. Lols!

      • Yes, but reading and comprehending are two different things. I’ll take my chances…

  • I just want to encourage you. I don’t know where inspiration would come from without you and your mate Stefan. I showed your site to my daughter and she said it was really good with actual proper instructions. I cooked this today and the result is just right for a winter’s day, comforting and flavourful. I omitted to remove the fat because I was not using proper chicken with skin on and an idiotically early death is a bit much to hope for at my age.

    • Hi Martin,
      I think that one’s idiotically early death always depends on one’s own perspective. It’s always too early! Thanks for the kind words.

      • It was really nice eaten cold next day too.

  • Being an Italian idiot, I not only greatly appreciate this stew of yours but I completely agree with your rationale determining why the dish is Italian in origin. I’ll say no more lest you and others see more evidence of my idiocy.

    • John,
      If you are happy to claim it, I am happy to encourage you in this foolhardy venture. It’s Italian now for sure!

  • I came back just at the right recipe, the perfect one pot recipe. Perfect in every way.

  • You could always replace ‘idiot’ with ‘amadán’. Paired with your humour, I’ve no doubt it would be a best seller.

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