Southwestern Chicken Stew

  • Yield: servings


1whole fryer chicken, cut up (3 4 lbs)
2tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more if needed for sauteing
2medium onions, sliced thin
2cloves garlic, minced
2-- jalapeno peppers, seeds and ribs removed and chopped fine
1-- 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, with juice
1tablespoon dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
2teaspoons ground cumin
1teaspoon ground coriander seed
1/2teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4teaspoon ground cloves
4cups chicken stock or good quality canned broth
1/4cup fresh squeezed lime juice (about 2 large California limes)
2small zucchini (about 1/2 lb), cut lengthwise and then into 1/4 inch slices
1/2cup fresh or frozen corn
1/2teaspoon fresh grated lime zest
1/2cup fresh cilantro, chopped rough
2-- fresh California Haas avocados, peeled, seeded and cubed


Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large soup pot or dutch oven until hot, but not quite smoking. Add half of the chicken pieces to the pot and brown on all sides (about 4-5 minutes total). Remove the browned chicken to a platter and set aside. Add the rest of the chicken and brown in the same manner. Remove the chicken and set aside. Turn the heat down to medium and add the onions (add a tablespoon more oil if the pan is dry). Saute the onions in the hot oil until translucent, stirring occasionally so they do not burn. Add the garlic and the jalapenos and continue sauteing for 2 minutes more. Add the tomatoes and their juice, along with the oregano, cumin, coriander seed, cinnamon and cloves. Stir to combine. Cook this vegetable and spice mixture over medium-high heat until the tomatoes are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth, lime juice and the chicken to the pot. Bring the stew to a boil and turn the heat down to low. Cover and simmer the stew for 25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, add the zucchini, corn and lime zest. Just before serving, add the cilantro. To serve ladle into large soup bowls. Top with a few cubes of the avocado.