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This old-fashioned, Farmer’s Chicken Stew combines bone-in chicken, corn and a variety of root vegetables in a savory cream sauce.
Today’s Farmer’s Chicken Stew is a throw-back to the kind of recipe that your grandmother would have made for dinner.
Picture yourself walking into her kitchen – instantly smelling a fantastic aroma of a chicken stew with vegetables, simmering away on the stove. (My stomach is growling just thinking about it!)
How do you make Farmer’s Chicken Stew?
Most of the prep time for this recipe goes toward peeling and dicing the vegetables – but you can do all of that a day ahead if you’d like. (We list some tips and tricks in the instructions below that will help prevent peeled vegetables from turning brown before they are cooked.)
You’ll cut a variety of root vegetables into bite-sized pieces including carrots, parsnips, turnip, and celery root. We also removed the skins from little round boiler onions.
You’ll be cooking bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces for this stew. You can buy the pieces at the supermarket, if you’d like. But we bought a whole chicken – then followed this method to cut the chicken apart into pieces. It’s less expensive, plus you can use the neck, backbone, and wing tips in a homemade chicken stock.
About an hour before dinnertime, start to brown the chicken pieces in a Dutch oven – then remove the pieces to a platter. (Don’t worry about cooking the chicken through – it will cook the rest of the way in one of the following steps.)
Deglaze the pan, then saute all of the diced vegetables in melted butter for a few minutes. Add some flour to begin creating a roux, then pour in chicken stock.
Next, add the peeled onions and the skin-on little potatoes to the pot, then nestle in the pieces of chicken to simmer and cook through. (You’ll add the dark meat first, then the white meat a little later since it takes less time to cook.)
Once the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are fork-tender, add corn kernels, cream and parsley to finish off the sauce. Season with salt and pepper to suit your taste – then ladle your Farmer’s Chicken Stew into bowls for serving.
We served our Farmer’s Chicken Stew as-is, with the chicken pieces still intact.
If you prefer, you can remove the chicken pieces to cool slightly, then pick the meat off the bones. Cut or tear into bite-sized pieces, then add the chicken back to the stew.
This recipe was inspired by Ree Drummond’s Old-Fashioned Chicken Stew recipe. We adapted it somewhat, but followed her basic cooking method.
You may enjoy these other chicken dishes:
- Country Baked Chicken
- Instant Pot Country Chicken
- Slow Cooker Tex-Mex Chicken Stew
- Chicken a la King
- Chicken Exquisito
3 ½ – 4 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces*
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound boiler onions
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons vermouth or white wine
5 tablespoons butter
½ cup celery, cut into small bite sized pieces (1 stalk)
2 ½ cups peeled yellow turnip cut into small bite sized pieces (about ½ large turnip)
1 cup peeled celery root cut into small bite sized pieces (about ½ large celery root)
1 cup peeled carrots cut into small bite sized pieces (about 2 medium carrots)
1 ¼ cups peeled parsnips cut into bite sized pieces (about 3 parsnips)
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 ½ quarts good quality chicken stock (home-made if possible)
1 pound mixed skin-on baby potatoes left whole but cut in half if too large
2 fresh ears of corn husked and cut from the cob
2 cups heavy cream
¼ cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste (as needed)
We prepared all of the vegetables the day prior to make the execution of this dish easy, including the boiler onions. We oiled the peeled parsnip pieces so they wouldn’t turn brown and refrigerated everything until it was time to cook.
Lay the chicken pieces out, pat dry with paper towels and generously salt and pepper all sides. Set aside.
Place a large sauce pan of water on to boil and once boiling, plunge the skin-on boiler onions into the water and boil four minutes.
Pour into a colander and rinse with cold water.
Move the onions to your cutting board and nip off all of the root ends. Then make a small slit up one side and peel off the outer skin. If part of the onion top remains, cut that off. Set the prepared onions aside.
In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium high heat and once hot and shimmering, sear the chicken in batches, browning on all sides. Each batch should take 5-6 minutes to brown on all sides. Move to a plate as you brown.
Add the vermouth or white wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up and brown bits from the pan bottom.
Add the butter and once melted, add the celery, turnip, celery root, carrots and parsnips and cook for three minutes, stirring often.
Lower heat to medium and add the flour and mix and cook for three minutes.
Add the stock and stir.
Add the prepared boiler onions and potatoes and increase the heat back to medium high.
Nestle in the four dark meat pieces (2 thighs and 2 drumsticks) and bring to a simmer with cover off center so steam escapes while cooking. Set your timer for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, add four breast pieces and bring back to a simmer again with the cover off center and cook 20 more minutes.
Add raw corn, cream and parsley and heat just to serving temperature.
Adjust seasoning as needed with salt and pepper and serve in bowls.
Cooking the chicken with skin and bones adds tremendous flavor so at this point, up to you to serve as is, or to remove the chicken pieces from the stew and pick the meat from the bones.
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*For the chicken, we bought a large whole chicken and cut it up into eight pieces following this method. We removed the back and wing tips and froze them for stock. We ended up with two thighs, two drum sticks and two breast halves each cut in half for a total of eight pieces.