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Cookin’ in Little Bear: Chicken Stew & Sourdough

Chicken Stew & Sourdough

Meals that make us Happy.

This is a great meal to cook on your day off. While it takes a bit of time, most of it is idle/waiting. But if you ask us if it’s worth it to make your own stock from scratch… absolutely! So grab a mimosa and spend a day making these two recipes – The perfect pair!

Recipe: Chicken Stew

Stock Ingredients:

  1. 2 chicken carcasses

  2. 1 leek

  3. 4 celery stalks

  4. 4 carrots

  5. 1 onion

  6. Garlic

  7. 10 sprigs parsley

  8. 10 sprigs thyme

  9. 2 bay leaves

  10. 2 black peppercorns

Stew Ingredients:

  1. 2 lbs. chicken

  2. 2 celery stalks

  3. 1 onion

  4. 4 carrots

  5. garlic

  6. 16 oz. lentils

  7. 8 oz. split peas

  8. 2 bay leaves


  1. Basil

  2. Rosemary

  3. Cumin

  4. Thyme

  5. Salt

  6. Black pepper

  7. Olive Oil


STEP 1: Chop/combine veggies and carcass

Chop carrots, celery, onion, leek, and parsley into large 3-4″ chunks. Add vegetable chunks and chicken carcasses to large stock pot. We really like this enamel pot.

STEP 2: Add water

Add water to pot until contents are completely covered. Bring to a boil.

STEP 3: Simmer

Once the water is boiling, lower the heat to a simmer. You want this to simmer for 4-8 hours and not boil off all the liquid!

STEP 4: Prep veggies for stew

Might as well get the soup veggies ready while the stock is going! Chop up celery, onion, carrot and garlic. Unlike the stock, you’ll want to chop these into bite-sized bits for the soup.

STEP 5: Filter solids from stock

To tell if your stock is done, pull out a chicken bone and it should easily bend/snap in half. Once done, filter out all of the solids and you have chicken stock! We’ll be using our chicken stock immediately for the soup.

*TIP: If you’d like to use the stock later, you’ll need to get it in the refrigerator/freezer. But you need to cool the stock FIRST so that you don’t raise the temperature of the inside of your fridge (and everything in it)! You want to do this rapidly to keep any food-borne bacteria from forming. To cool rapidly place in a sink full of ice water or a large cooler and chill to below 40 degrees. Place the stock in the fridge overnight then remove any scum that’s risen to the surface the next day. You can store for a few days in the fridge or a few months in the freezer!

STEP 6: Sauté Vegetables and Chicken

Over your hot campfire, add olive oil to 5 qt. Dutch oven and heat up. Then add veggies and sauté until translucent. Add chicken and cook about 5 minutes longer. We like to set the Dutch oven on a campfire grill.

*You don’t have to use a firepit, you can also use a stove, but we really think the campfire adds a little extra!

STEP 7: Add chicken stock

Add enough chicken stock to cover the contents of Dutch oven.

STEP 8: Add lentils and split peas

Add 16 ounces lentils and 8 ounces split peas (you can add more to a 5-quart Dutch oven if you only use 1 chicken). You’ll want to have about 3 cups of stock per cup of lentils and split peas.

STEP 9: Season!

Last but not least, season! To be honest, we tend to season to taste so we don’t have exact amounts. First, add a bit of each: bay leaves, basil, rosemary, cumin, thyme, salt & pepper. Stir it all in and allow to simmer. Then, taste it and add more to your own taste. You can do it!

STEP 10: Enjoy!

We enjoyed serving our stew with the sourdough bread below.

*TIP: For a soupier finish, use more water and less chicken (1 lb.)

Sourdough Bread


  1. 1 cup (227g) of active (fed) sourdough starter

  2. 1 1/2 cups (340g) water

  3. 5 cups (602g) flour

  4. 2 1/2 tsp. salt


STEP 1: Feed Starter

You always want to use a recently fed/active starter. I try to feed my starter the night before, or very early the day I plan to make bread. To feed, mix 113g starter, 113g warm water, 113g. Allow to rest until it doubles in size. The time this takes can vary based on your environment, but it should take a few hours.

*TIP: I highly recommend using a digital food scale for this, although you can also use measuring cups. I like everything collapsible, like these ones.

STEP 2: Mix Dough

Mix together 1 cup (227g) starter and 1 1/2 cups (340g) luke warm water. Dissolve together and then mix in 5 cups (602g) flour and salt. Dough will still be somewhat sticky at this point.

Because of our space limitations, I don’t have a large mixing bowl (although I did just order this collapsible bowl I can’t wait to arrive!). So, in my photos you will see I have split the recipe in two parts.

STEP 3: Cover and Rise

Cover your mixture with a damp cloth and allow to sit.

STEP 4: Pull, Fold & Shape

After about an hour, pull and fold the dough. Over a floured surface, stretch out the dough and fold it back on itself. Do this one time in each of the 4 directions (4 times total). Then, form the dough into the shape you wish to bake it. I chose to make one round loaf for the Dutch oven, and one ring-shaped for the Omnia oven.

Then, recover with your damp cloth and allow to rise. This could take anywhere from 4-6 hours depending on your environment.

STEP 5: Flour & Slit Shaped Bread

For an “artisan” look, sprinkle a bit of flour on the top of your loaf, and cut slits with a sharp knife.

*TIP: In the video I suggest using parchment paper under the loaf. After more trial & error, I have decided NOT to use the paper. The bread does not stick to the cast iron, and the paper sticks to the bread!

STEP 6: Cook over fire (no coals)

With the lid on the dutch oven, place over hot coals. We like to use a campfire grill as it gives us more control over the heat. Cook for 15-20 minutes with no coals on the lid.

STEP 7: Add coals to top of oven

Using tongs, place a few hot coals on the lid of the dutch oven, and continue to bake another 15-20 minutes. Because it is difficult to judge the campfire temperature, I recommend quickly checking the progress now and then. Cook until loaf is golden brown.

STEP 8: Remove & Cool

Remove Dutch oven from fire, and remove bread from oven so it does not continue to cook. Allow to cool for 30-60 minutes. Enjoy!!

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Love & Light!

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