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Panera Knock-Off: Nik’s “Something Chicken Stew”

 “This looks fancy…”

That was my youngest daughter’s reaction when she looked at the contents of the slightly modified bowl I presented her this past weekend. (I’ll tell you why the modification in a sec.)

Now to her, “fancy” is a good adjective. With the elder girl, not so much. I was quite pleased how this recipe turned out, mostly because it was just so darn easy!

Backstory (because you know there always is one!). A few months back I went to Panera Bread and had their Spanish Chicken Stew. Oh. My. WORD! (As Pam would say.) That stuff is delicious! It’s a combination of chicken, herbs, spices, vegetable, broth and there is some brown rice on the bottom. What made it unique and delightful for me was the sprinkling of sliced almonds on top. It did feel fancy!

Fast forward to this past weekend, when I wasn’t feeling that great and didn’t feel like standing over a stove to cook. I hadn’t tried out my new Ninja Kitchen cooking system (it’s like a crockpot plus four other things I’ve not figured out yet), and I had some almonds left over from another recipe I’d captured earlier in the week, so I decided to experiment.

Now if you’ve been following the blog for a while you know I am not a big fan of looking at other people’s recipes before creating my own. I mean…where’s the fun in that? Rather I like throwing stuff together and seeing how it comes out. Risky? Yes. But good!

I call this “Something Chicken Stew” because I’m not sure it’s particularly Spanish, per se. It’s something. And that something would be good. And easy. And good!

It’s up to you what grain you use in this recipe, if at all. Here are a few options, if couscous is not your thing.

My point here is you have choices. Play with your food!

To serve: place a small amount of couscous/quinoa/rice/whatever in a bowl. Ladle some stew on top of it (for your portion, you get to choose how much broth, as I know some folks worry about taking in liquids and solids together). Top with sliced almonds and enjoy!

After these pictures were taken I got the inspiration to add sliced olives, which just made this all the more delicious. Now I modified this for my younger daughter because she eats a pescetarian diet (she eats seafood but no other type of animal protein), so I made another little pot of this stew with just the veggies and broth. Still wonderful and yummy!

Here are the outtake pictures of this dish.

Don’t ask me why, when given a choice, I always go with the direct overhead shot. I just always seem to like it better. But this is a good one too!
I just didn’t feel like this captured the full essence of this dish. Not a bad picture though. Please note I have two places I can take pictures with sufficient light: on top of my microwave oven (which is where the photo directly above this one was taken) and on a bench on my front porch (and yes, my neighbors do think I’m crazy, thanks for asking).
Panera Knock-Off: Nik's "Something Chicken Stew"
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    4 bowls (depending on your eating capacity) 10 minutes
    Cook Time
    5 hours
    Servings Prep Time
    4 bowls (depending on your eating capacity) 10 minutes
    Cook Time
    5 hours
    Panera Knock-Off: Nik's "Something Chicken Stew"
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      4 bowls (depending on your eating capacity) 10 minutes
      Cook Time
      5 hours
      Servings Prep Time
      4 bowls (depending on your eating capacity) 10 minutes
      Cook Time
      5 hours
      Ingredients
      Servings: bowls (depending on your eating capacity)
      Instructions
      1. Put everything exept tomato paste in the crockpot and set it on low for about 4 hours. Then go do something fun (yes, this is a legit part of the recipe).
      2. By the time you come back your chicken should be cooked through. With a pair of tongs, move it to a cutting board and dice it into pieces of your desired size. Put the chicken back into the crockpot.
      3. Taste the broth and adjust the seasonings as you see fit (I added a dash of oregano at this point but otherwise the seasoning was spot on). Stir the tomato paste into the hot liquid until incorporated. Let that go about another 30-40 minutes.
      4. To serve: place a small amount of couscous/quinoa/rice/whatever in a bowl. Ladle some stew on top of it (for your portion, you get to choose how much broth, as I know some folks worry about taking in liquids and solids together). Top with sliced almonds and enjoy!
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      2 comments

      1. Wendy Sue

        I see that Mediterranean seasoning is posted as a link in the recipe. However, when I click on the link, it takes me back to either the same or simply more Mediterranean recipes, not a description of what “Med. seasoning” actually contains.

        I love your blog! Keep it up! 😀

        • FoodieNation_Admin10
          FoodieNation_Admin10

          Hey there. Those links are actually placed there by the recipe widget so I have no clue how they are determined. I’ll try and figure it out. I’m glad you like the site!

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