Chicken, dinner, Main Dishes, Recipes, Soups, Chili & Stew

chicken stew with beans, leeks & tarragon

A rich and filling stew with literal tender fall-of-the-bone chicken.

It’s about that time y’all! I have no idea where the summer went but I was ready to usher in fall with a hearty stew to warm my belly. One of my favorite fall and winter meals is a savory cassoulet so this is definitely in a similar vein sans sausage. By all means, if you are feeling sausage-y, throw a couple of those bad boys in there!

Chicken stew shown on a kitchen counter in an East Fork Pottery bowl.

While there are a few steps here it’s worth it to take the wee bit of extra time to brown the chicken in the duck fat as an example, because I mean – come on. Flavor town. If you have any trouble finding duck fat locally, I’d recommend ordering a big tub of it, like this one. We love having this handy and it also freezes well.

A top down shot of the chicken stew in a bowl next to a bowl of summer tomatoes and a large Dutch oven.

Can I use chicken breasts instead?

Of course! You can mix and match any pieces of chicken you’d like, though I do have to say that the tender dark meat of the chicken is really what makes this chicken stew sing.

Another alternative that I may try this Thanksgiving is swapping in some leftover turkey. I think the flavors would all marry together fantastically with turkey. I’ll keep you posted!

An overhead shot of a bowl filled with chicken stew with carrots and leeks.
Chicken stew with beans, carrots, leeks and fresh herbs.

Chicken Stew with Beans, Leeks & Tarragon

An easy-to-make hearty chicken stew with tender beans, leeks, carrots and fresh herbs that only gets better with time.
Prep Time 4 hours
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 7 hours
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 6


  • 2 Tbs Duck Fat
  • Salt + Pepper
  • 4 Chicken Thighs
  • 4 Chicken Drumsticks
  • 2 Carrots, Sliced No Thicker Than 1/4 inch
  • 1 Leek, Sliced
  • 1 Shallot, Minced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 Tsp Chopped Fresh Tarragon
  • 2 Tsp Chopped Fresh Thyme
  • 1/3 Cup White Wine
  • 4 Cups Water
  • 1 Cup Dried Cannellini Beans, Soaked for 4 Hours


  • Get a large Dutch oven on the stove over medium-high heat and add the duck fat.
  • Liberally salt and pepper each piece of chicken.
  • Add the chicken to the pot without crowding, you will likely need to brown in batches. Leave the chicken to truly brown (don't move it too much). This can take up to 8 minutes a side. Turn the chicken once they are easily moveable and don't stick to the bottom, repeating through all the chicken pieces.
  • Remove the chicken once browned and set aside.
  • Turn the stove to medium heat and add the carrots, leeks and shallot. If there is not enough fat in the pot, add a pat of butter. Cook, stirring frequently until tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and cook for just a minute more.
  • Add the fresh chopped tarragon and thyme, then add the wine and deglaze the pan scraping up all the little good bits until the wine is reduced.
  • Next add the chicken back to the pot with 4 cups of water. Turn heat up to get a boil, then down to a simmer. Simmer for one hour.
  • Add the drained beans to the pot and continue to simmer for another two hours until you can remove the bones from the chicken easily. Taste the beans for doneness.
  • Skim any fat off the top of the stew.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve topped with a few more dashes of the fresh herbs and with crusty bread along side of the stew.
Keyword Fall Dinner, Fall Dinner Idea, One Pot Dinner, One Pot Meal, Stew

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