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5 from 2 votes

Creamy Tomato Stew

I have a CostCo about an hours drive away. I tend to go about once every 6 to 8 weeks and load up on my bulk items. I come home and do a lot of preparation with it, then I package and freeze it all. This gives me a freezer full of prepared, almost-ready-to-eat ingredients.
One of the items I regularly buy is a bundle or three of whole chickens. I’ll bring them home, and immediately remove the breasts, legs, and wings. I cut the wings into drumettes, wings, and wingtips. The drumettes and wings get packaged and frozen. Then, I separate the thighs from the drumsticks, then remove the large bone from the thighs. For some reason, I tend to keep the drumstick intact. I like that it comes complete with a handle, I suppose. From here, I typically load vacuum pack bags with 2 boneless breasts, a separate set of bags containing thighs and drums, then a final bag containing all the bones and wingtips, which will get turned into a bone broth, once I’ve accumulated enough. This all gets vacuumed, then placed in the freezer. It’s a bit messy and gross, but it goes quickly, and I’m always thrilled to have a nice selection of portioned chicken!
Over the years, I’ve also created this odd mixture of onions, garlic, tomatoes, red bell peppers, and bacon. I’ll chop it all up, toss it on the stove with a bit of salt and just let it simmer away and reduce. Once it’s super thick, I chill it down, package it and freeze little deli pucks of it. These little pucks get defrosted and turned into soups, stews, and sauces. I use it A LOT.
Also from CostCo are the artichokes and capers, which add some flavor!
When I was thinking about this one, I was originally just going to combine all the ingredients (except the cream), and just let them simmer in a small pot, until the chicken was cooked through. This would be a wonderful stew, all in its own right. Right before serving, stir in some cream, then serve. A true, comforting, taste sensation!
For some reason, I decided to split it up and make a bit of a Creamy Tomato Stew, then serve it with a quick stir-fry of chicken, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, capers, and a whisper of chopped rosemary. I guess you could argue this isn’t a stew, in that there’s been very little stewing, but the idea started as a stew and evolved into this: A Rustic Deconstructed Creamy Tomato Stew-Like Experience
The creamy elements were so smooth and lovely, with the little bits of stir-fry swirling around, it actually really felt a lot like a luxurious Tomato-Pepper Bisque, with a lot of garnish!
Or, seen another way, it’s a hot chicken stir-fry with a thick and indulgent Tomato Cream Sauce!
Given the way I tend to build my ingredient stash, this was a quick and easy one to throw together and has everything I could ever ask for in a tantalizing meal! I’m going to write this recipe as if starting from scratch, but I thought my own journey into this recipe was interesting and thought I’d share. I hope you enjoy it!
Note: I’m very slowly trying to do small bits of video. This is a terrible video, with me literally blocking the camera for a moment, but it’s video… and it’s a start. Not everything we do is going to be amazing from the beginning. This is me forcing myself into more video, with the full knowledge that time and practice will increase the quality and frequency. Let’s just hope they get better from here!
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: American, Italian
Servings: 8
Author: DJ Foodie


  • 1 small onion peeled and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 red bell pepper seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 cup bacon bits
  • 1 Tbsp fresh chopped rosemary
  • 4 chicken breasts or thighs cut into cubes
  • 2 Portobello mushrooms cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup drained artichoke hearts cut into small wedges
  • 2 Tbsp drained capers coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil divided
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • In a medium soup pot, over medium heat, sweat the onions and garlic with the butter. Stir until translucent. About 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes, bell pepper, bacon bits, and rosemary along with a bit of salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Allow it to simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • If making true stew: If you want this to be a true stew, you can add the chicken, mushrooms, and capers, at this point. I’d wait until the chicken is cooked through, before adding the artichokes, and they’ll likely just fall apart, if you add them too early.
  • However, I decided to split this dish into two parts. So, while the tomatoes simmer, gather your chicken, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, coarsely chopped capers, and chopped rosemary.
  • Pre-heat a very large sauté pan (or two medium to large ones) over high heat. Pour half the olive oil into the pan(s) and spread it around. Evenly sprinkle the chicken cubes around the base of the pan, keeping a bit of space between each nibblet. If too much is added, the pan will cool too much and the chicken will just simmer and steam. Once the chicken is in the hot pan(s), season with a bit of salt and pepper.
  • Once the chicken has a bit of color, toss the chicken in the hot pan, to brown another side of the cubes. Add the mushrooms to the pan, along with a bit of salt and pepper. Cook this mixture over high heat, stirring or tossing the pan every minute or so.
  • Once the chicken and mushrooms are almost completely cooked through, add the cream to the tomato soup base and bring it up to a slow simmer.
  • Add the artichokes, capers, and rosemary to the hot chicken pan and toss the ingredients together. Allow this mixture to cook for another minute, or until the chicken is completely cooked through. Turn the hot pan off and leave it sitting on the stove.
  • Puree the hot soup base in a blender, until smooth.
  • Divide the chicken mixture between 8 different soup bowls. Pour the creamy tomato soup base around the chicken. Finally, drizzle a bit of the remaining olive oil over the tops of each bowl. Serve!
  • If making true stew: If you’ve skipped most of the above steps and are simply making a big creamy stew (which will be phenomenally delicious!), once the chicken is soft and shreddable (about 20 to 25 minutes), add the artichokes and cream, then bring up to a very low simmer. Taste, then adjust the seasoning. Divide between 8 bowls, drizzle some olive oil over the top. Serve!