Chipotle Chicken Stew

October 7, 2016 | | | |

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easy-chipotle-chicken-stewI do not like full-grown dogs, but I’m freakishly obsessed with puppies, and I very much want one. I’ve noticed that I make a weird noise in my throat when I see particularly fluffy puppers on the street/social media.

Most of my favorite songs are about smoking weed and/or pole dancing. In real life, weed gives me panic attacks, and the concept of me pole dancing is comical. I have no upper body strength.

I know that if I take a scalding bath in the middle of the summer I will be sweaty and light-headed for at least 2 hours afterward, and yet, I do it anyway. Multiple times a week.

My computer almost died in a tragic water accident years ago. I still don’t backup.

Consuming apples or tea on an empty stomach makes me instantly nauseous, but I regularly eat an apple or make a cup of tea when I’m feeling peckish.

I hoard back issues of food magazines on the bottom shelf of my desk because “I might want to make one of their recipes one day.” I have never once touched a mag after putting it on the shelf.

easy-chipotle-chicken-stew-2I like to be cuddled when I go to bed even though I know I can’t actually fall asleep while cuddling.

My roommate points out that I have food stuck in my teeth after every meal we eat together, but I never check my teeth when I eat alone or with friends. Therefore, I almost always have food stuck in my teeth?

I think I’m allergic to pineapple. I add pineapple to pretty much everything.

According to my best friend Google Analytics, people do not like stew recipes, but I continue to publish them several times a year.

While this post may seem like nonsense so far, I’m totally going to make a super intellectual and self-reflective point here. All of these seemingly random statements have something very important in common…

They’re all personal behaviors that defy common sense. And of these idiosyncrasies, the last one is definitely the strangest. Honestly, I’m straight up befuddled by my stew posting fetish.

easy-chipotle-chicken-stew-3Given my love of cooking and food, stew is an odd item to feel so strongly about. It’s not particularly exciting to make stew, and God knows it’s one of the least sexy things to look at. In fact, most stews are sort of reddish brown and resemble vomit, making them an absolute bitch to photograph. Answering “Stew!” to a “What’s for dinner?” query rarely elicits the same type of excitement as something notoriously dank like enchiladas or pizza, not to mention that stew prep usually requires forethought and some decent simmer time. In short, I get why people aren’t scouring the internets in search of STEW.

When writing the above list, I realized that a rational human would change these behaviors to improve his or her life (and potential blog traffic?), but let’s be real…I’m not gonna. Change makes me itchy, and even as I type this post about stew, I’m eating an apple (that will probably be stuck in my teeth for the rest of the day), thinking about getting a puppy, and listening to “Rack City.” I’m the teensiest bit disappointed in myself right now, but NOT on the stew front.

I firmly believe that stew is awesome, and I’ve successfully convinced myself that I can still make stew happen. People just need the right recipe to convince them! Fingers crossed that recipe is Chipotle Chicken Stew.

easy-chipotle-chicken-stew-5This one-pot wonder is hearty and comforting with a serious kick and a hint of smoke. The sweet and savory toppings were actually inspired by one of my favorite pizzas (heyo, Chickpotle from Spunto), and they really take this stew to the next level, so really go to town when decorating your bowl. If the idea of fruit on stew really upsets you, avocado would be an equally delightful, if somewhat less adventurous, addition. And since the recipe takes about 30 minutes from start to finish, is made with mostly pantry ingredients, and requires minimal cleanup, this is one stew you can whip up on a weeknight or whim. YASSS, etc.


Chipotle Chicken Stew

Author - Serena Wolf
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Yields: 4 servings


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion minced
  • 2 large garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • teaspoons smoked paprika
  • chipotle peppers canned in adobo finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons adobo sauce from the chipotle can
  • 1 15- ounce can pinto beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 28- ounce can crushed fire roasted tomatoes such as Muir Glen
  • 1½-2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breast halved crosswise
  • For Serving:
  • ½ cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • ½ cup finely chopped pineapple
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves


  • Heat the olive oil in a medium Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. When hot, add the onion and cook for about 4 minutes or until soft and translucent. Add the garlic, cumin, and paprika and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
  • Stir in the chipotles, adobo sauce, pinto beans, crushed tomatoes, 1½ cups chicken broth, vinegar, and honey. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and add the chicken. Cover the pot with a lid and cook for 20 minutes.
  • Remove the chicken from the pot and transfer to a cutting board. Using two forks, shred the meat into small pieces. Return the shredded chicken to the pot and simmer for 5 minutes more. Taste the stew and season with a little extra salt if necessary. (If your stew is too thick, add another ½ cup chicken broth.)
  • Ladle the stew into bowls and serve garnished with cheese, pineapple and cilantro.

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  1. Kay Battista on October 10, 2016 at 8:58 am

    I LOVE stew… and soup. They’re perfect excuses to eat homemade bread.

  2. Bonita Flor Maria on October 7, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    Sorry, but I’m part of the group that do NOT like stew! I really enjoyed you story though. I’m a beginner when it comes to cooking so I’m a magazine recipe hoarder! I almost got punched on the face once when I mentioned to a woman at the doctor’s office not to cut off the pages as other people may want to read the recipes.

    • Serena Wolf on October 10, 2016 at 12:58 pm

      Hahahah you did all the future doctor’s office visitors a service!! Love that. (And I forgive you for being a stew hater–you’re in the majority.) xo

  3. Susan Stone on October 7, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    I checked out the recipe and it sounded good until I got to the Adobo sauce – just can’t do that stuff. That said, I do like stews. I grew up on Hungarian gulyás (goulash to Americans), and chicken paprikás. I also like a good beef stew and a good chili on occasion. So keep the stews coming.

    • Serena Wolf on October 10, 2016 at 12:41 pm

      I LOVE a good beef stew. I just realized I have yet to put a good one on the blog, so stay tuned…

  4. Birgit Trainor on October 7, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    Yes! For the record – I love stews … including chills and soups that are really stews.

    Stews are what brought me to your blog in the first place, and there are several of your stew recipes that have made our permanent rotation (for fall/winter) – e.g. Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili and Smoky Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash and Kale.

    Stews are obviously not all we make, but they are great comfort food when the weather gets cool, and for a two person household they usually yield enough left-overs for a second dinner. Win, win.

    Keep them coming, please!

    • Serena Wolf on October 10, 2016 at 12:42 pm

      Yessss, thrilled that you’re also in the stew camp, and that mine make a regular appearance in your kitchen. (The Smoky Chicken Stew is one of my personal faves.) And I wholeheartedly agree with you on stew as awesome fall comfort food front–it’s best eaten while wearing a sweater!

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