A cozy, hearty, humble bowl of this Country Chicken Stew is waiting for you! Chicken, thick-cut bacon, navy beans, veggies, and fresh herbs all simmering in one big pot. It’s a good one, friends!
Country Chicken Stew
- 8 ounces (half a pound) dried navy beans
- 4 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into very small pieces
- 2 small onions, thinly sliced
- 5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- thyme, bay leaf, and parsley (tie them together for easy removal)
- 1 whole chicken (rub some salt under the skin ahead of time, if you think of it!)
- water to cover
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 3 large carrots, sliced
- one-third of a head of cabbage, thinly sliced
- lemon or red wine vinegar to finish
- parsley or any other herbs to finish
- Cover the beans with water and soak for 4-12 hours.
- Heat the bacon, onion, and garlic over medium high heat. Sauté until everything is very soft and flavorful, about 10 minutes.
- Add the beans and herbs to the pot, and place the whole chicken on top of everything. Cover with water. Throw in the salt, put a lid on, and let it simmer for about an hour.
- After an hour, take the chicken out and transfer to a large plate or cutting board to cool. Skim the top of the soup pot for any weird-looking foam. Pull out the herbs. Add carrots and cabbage and let the whole thing keep cooking to get those veggies softened.
- When the chicken is cool enough to handle, pull the chicken meat off and cut / shred into bite-sized pieces. I usually add half of the chicken back to the pot and then save the other half for something else delicious later in the week. Squeeze a little lemon juice in there or hit it with a splash of red wine vinegar to finish. Serve with extra herbs if you want, and definitely get a piece of hot crusty bread slathered with that amazing garlic herb butter ready for some dunking. Oh my goodness, what a beauty. You’ve arrived.
Garlic Herb Butter: Soften a stick of butter. Mix with a clove of grated garlic, herbs, and salt and pepp to taste. Place back in the fridge to hang out until you’re ready for it. Slather on whatever kind of bread you like and dunk away.
Instant Pot Instructions: Pre-soak your beans for 4 hours. Using the Sauté function, cook the bacon, onion, and garlic in the Instant Pot for about 10 minutes until soft. Add the beans and herbs to the pot and place the whole chicken on top of everything. Pour in enough water to cover the chicken or almost cover it, depending on the size of your Instant Pot. Add in the salt. Place the lid on, and set the timer to cook on manual mode for 25 minutes. Let the steam release naturally. Take out the chicken to chop or shred. Pull out the herbs. Add in the carrots and cabbage. Add the shredded chicken back to the pot and give everything a good stir. Let the soup sit for a few minutes until the cabbage and carrots soften.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- Category: Soup
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: chicken soup, chicken stew, country stew