Beth asked me to post what I do for chicken stew, so... I'm a-postin'. I'm going to give *really* general directions - if I'm going to be home all day but working, I use the crockpot - if I'd rather just cook for a couple hours, I do it on the stovetop.
3 bone-in chicken breast halves 1 onion, chopped 1 stalk celery, chopped 3 whole cloves 5 whole peppercorns 1 tsp chicken boullion 1/2 tsp salt Freshly ground black pepper, a few twists of the mill (or 1/8 tsp ground) Dash thyme 1 bay leaf 3 cups water (use 4-5 cups if cooking on the stovetop)
2 carrots, sliced 1/4 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup flour + 1/2 cup cold water + 1/2 tsp chicken boullion OR thickener of choice + 1/2 cup chicken broth... you get the general idea, I hope!
Combine the first batch of ingredients, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until chicken is fall-off-the-bones tender. This will take maybe an hour on the stove, or a few hours in a crockpot on high.
Remove the chicken to a plate or cutting board, debone, and shred into chunks, set aside. Strain the broth, and return it to the pot.
Add the carrots and cook until just about tender. Add the chicken back in, and the peas, and cook until vegetables are done.
Mix the flour, boullion and water, and stir the mixture into the pot. (Or use thickener of choice.) Cook until thickened - this happens pretty quickly!
Season to taste w/ salt and pepper and serve over mashed potatoes. Yum! Winter comfort food at its finest.
You can tinker with this any old way you like. Sometimes I season it a little differently - maybe add some cumin and cardamom. Sometimes I throw in different vegetables, or dice the potatoes and cook them in the stew instead of serving the stew over top. It's all good.