Tasty Tuesday: Clean out the fridge with Italian Chicken Stew

It’s the day before you need to leave on vacation;  you look in the fridge and think, “What in the world do I do with all this food???” I had that day last Friday, knowing I would be leaving town early Saturday morning. Even though I still have grown kids at home, I knew that those basic raw ingredients would go unused, so I needed to clean out that fridge before I left.

This post is less about the end result (which was delicious) and more about the method of using up as many of  the perishables in a creative way. I dubbed the very tasty final result, Italian Chicken Stew, but your results are bound to vary. Keep in mind when you read my ingredient list: these were the things in MY fridge that needed to go before vacation. Your list will vary.

Italian Stew is a savory stew made from leftovers in the fridge

Italian Chicken Stew


  • 2 pounds chicken tenders, sauteed and chopped into bite-sized chunks
  • 1 1/2 medium red onions, chopped
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 T. minced garlic
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 6 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 c. red wine (any color will do but I needed to use this last bit up)
  • 2 c. kale, washed and cut/torn into 2″ pieces
  • 1 c. fresh basil leaves
  • 2 c. broccoli florets
  • 1 t. smoky paprika
  • 2 t. dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 can garbanzo beans


In one medium to large skillet, saute the chicken tenders in a bit of olive oil until completely cooked. Cut into bite-sized chunks and set aside.

In a very large skillet or a dutch oven, saute the onions, garlic, and peppers until tender and translucent. Add the tomatoes, kale, wine, and seasonings. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until the tomatoes are cooked down and the wine is partly reduced. Stir in fresh basil. Add broccoli florets and cook for another 5 minutes.

Italian chicken stew simmering on the stove

Stir in the chicken chunks and the garbanzo beans.

Serve in a bowl with crusty bread. We used the rest of a loaf of spinach-feta bread from our favorite local bakery.

I’m trying to get this posted in a hurry while I sit in the car outside the public library, using their wifi, so there won’t be many pictures this week!Italian Stew uses up leftovers before vacation

Remember, your goal is to use as many perishables as you can before you leave town. All veggies, cooked and uncooked are fair game. Add some grated cheese on top to garnish this stew. Also consider adding noodles or even rice. If I had had leftover rice, I would have stirred that in. If I’d wanted noodles, I would have cooked the noodles separately and then stirred them in when I added the chicken.

My fridge was essentially bare when I headed out the door on Saturday morning and I know that I won’t be coming home to some slimy mass of decaying vegetable matter in the crisper drawer in a week. Best of all, dinner was delicious!

Barb, writing at My Sister’s Kitchen


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