Sicilian Chicken Stew |

Sicilian Chicken Stew

Lots of vegetables, herbs, lentils, pasta, and bone-in chicken make a hearty, savory, and healthy meal.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Karen Gibson


  • 1 tablespoon high heat oil like coconut or avocado
  • 1 small yellow onion diced
  • 1 small bell pepper diced (I used red)
  • 2 ribs celery diced
  • 2 medium carrots diced
  • 1 small fennel bulb chopped
  • 3 small Yukon gold potatoes diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried Italian herb seasoning blend
  • 1 can diced tomatoes 14 ounces with its juices
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 half of a chicken bone-in, skin-on*
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 " piece of Parmesan cheese rind or 1 tablespoon very finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 6 ounces small shaped dried pasta
  • 1/3 cup dried red lentils
  • Fresh flat leaf parsley chopped, for garnish


  • Heat the oil in a 4 to 5 quart Dutch oven or stock pot over medium until shimmering. Add the vegetables (onion, pepper, celery, carrots, fennel, and potatoes) and sauté until the onions begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and herbs, and stir until fragrant (just a minute or so). Pour in the diced tomatoes (with the juices) and combine, along with the bay leaf.
  • Clear a space in the center of the pot by scootching the vegetables to sides of the pot. Place the chicken (or chicken pieces) skin-side down in contact with the surface of the pot and let sizzle for several minutes. Flip so the skin side is up. Cover everything with water by 1" (about 4 cups). Bring the stew to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, to maintain a simmer. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and the Parmesan rind (if using a rind). Cover partially with lid, and let cook for two hours.
  • After two hours, taste the broth, and add another 1/2 teaspoon salt, if needed.
  • Transfer all of the chicken to a bowl to cool (about 20 minutes), and remove and discard the bay leaf and Parmesan rind (if using). Stir the lentils into the soup and cover again. Cook for at least 15 minutes more.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the pasta according to package directions (no softer than al dente). Drain, and add to soup.**
  • When the chicken can be handled safely, remove the meat from the bones and shred (discard the bones or freeze to make broth later). Add to the soup.
  • If using grated Parmesan cheese, add now and stir in, along with the fresh parsley. Serve immediately, or refrigerate overnight for even more flavor.


* I used half of a fryer chicken, which is a cut that should be readily available. Alternatively, use bone-in, skin-on breasts and or thighs.
** For more of a soup than a stew, serve the pasta on the side, to be added by each person as they please.