Ontario Harvest Stew
This farmhouse favourite makes comforting use of Ontario's harvest vegetables.  All fresh ingredients can be found at farmer’s markets now.

This started out as a Foodland Ontario recipe for Potato and Chicken Stew.  The original added dumplings, which we found a bit too much work for a quick dish. We added white beans instead and begin the recipe with bacon for a bit more flavour.  We have also added different kinds of fresh sausage, which is browned at the beginning of the recipe. We have also added smoked turkey leg or ham for additional kick.

Preparation Time: 15 Minutes
Cooking Time: 50 Minutes
Servings: 4 to 6

1-1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken, cut into large chunks (about 4 thighs and 2 breasts)
Four strips thick cut bacon, diced
4 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tbsp canola oil
1 large onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 stalks celery with leaves, sliced
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
4 cups chicken broth
4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
Half of parsnip, peeled and grated
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme or parsley leaves 
1/2 cup white beans
Salt and pepper to taste

To make:
Toss chicken with 4 tbsp of the flour to coat evenly. In large heavy-bottomed saucepan, cook bacon over medium low heat until some fat has melted.  Add oil and bring to medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook until golden on all sides. Add onion, carrots, celery and mushrooms and beans. Cover and reduce heat to medium; cook for 5 minutes or until vegetables soften, stirring occasionally and scraping up brown bits from bottom of pan. (Add 1/2 cup of the broth to prevent burning, if necessary.)

Add broth, potatoes, parsnip and thyme; cover and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer for 8 to 10 minutes or until potatoes are almost tender, stirring occasionally. 

Serve with a full-bodied Chardonnay like 2007 Peninsula Ridge Reserve or Frogmore Creek. A lively Pinot Noir like the Domaine Poulleau Pere et Fils Les Mondes Rondes would be an excellent choice if you are adding sausage or other smoked meat.