- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 10 stalks celery, chopped (1 package)
- 3 carrots, peeled, chopped (or 1 package of baby carrots, 1lb)
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 3 (14 1/2-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
- 3 (14-ounce) can low-salt/fat chicken broth
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 5 chicken breasts with ribs (~ 4 or 5 pounds total)
- 1 cup corn starch
- 2 (15-ounce) cans beans, rinsed. Any kind; 1 can of black and 1 can of white work well together.
- Hot sauce (optional)
Heat the oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the celery, carrot, and onion. Saute the vegetables until the onion is translucent, about 6 minutes. Season to taste. Stir in the tomatoes with their juices, chicken broth, basil, tomato paste, bay leaves, and thyme. Add the chicken breasts; press to submerge.
Bring the cooking liquid to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently uncovered until the chicken is almost cooked through, turning the chicken breasts over and stirring the mixture occasionally, about 25 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the chicken breasts to a work surface and cool for 5-10 minutes. Add the beans and starch to the pot and simmer until the liquid has reduced into a stew consistency, about 10 minutes.
Discard the skin and bones from the chicken breasts. Shred or cut the chicken into bite- size pieces. Return the chicken to the stew. Bring the stew just to a simmer. Season to taste.
Serving suggestion: over brown rice.