- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 celery stalks, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 carrot, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- 1 (14½-ounce) can chopped tomatoes with their juices
- 1 (14-ounce) can reduced-sodium chicken broth
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 chicken breasts with ribs (about 1½ pounds total)
- 1 (15-ounce) can organic kidney beans, drained (rinsed if not organic)
Italian stews are called spezzatini because the meat is cut into pieces; spezzare means “to cut up” or “break up.” This is the prototypical one-pot meal: Throw all the ingredients into a pot, and you have a great dinner.
- In a Heavy 5½-quart saucepan, heat the oil over a medium flame. Add the celery, carrot, and onion, and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the salt and pepper. Stir in the tomatoes, broth, basil, tomato paste, bay leaf, and thyme. Add the chicken and press to submerge. Bring the liquid to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently, uncovered, turning the breasts over and stirring occasionally, until the chicken is almost cooked through, about 20 minutes.
- Add the kidney beans and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the liquid has reduced to a stew consistency, about 10 minutes.
- Discard the bay leaf. Let the chicken cool for 5 minutes.
- Discard the skin and bones and cut the meat into bitesize pieces. Return it to the stew and bring to a simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste.