Bread Bowl Chicken Stew

2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

1 cup diced carrots

3/4 tsp salt, divided

4 (5-inch) round sourdough or Italian or French bread loaves

butter or nonstick cooking spray

2 Tbsp butter

3/4 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces

1/4 small onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

2 Tbsp flour

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/8 tsp thyme

1/8 tsp paprika

1 cup chicken broth

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

Preheat oven to 400*F. Place potatoes, carrots and 1/2 tsp salt in medium saucepan. Cover ingredients with water. Bring to a boil; cook about 15 minutes over medium heat or until vegetables are tender. Drain and set aside.

Cut off top third of each bread loaf. Pull out soft insides; reserve for another use. Spray inside of loaves with nonstick cooking spray or brush lightly with butter. Place bread on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Set aside.

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add chicken, onion, and garlic. Brown approx. 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add flour, remaining salt, pepper, thyme, and paprika. Cook and stir 1-2 minutes. Gradually stir in chicken broth; cook and stir until mixture thickens. Stir in potato mixture; add peas. Simmer 5 minutes. Spoon into bread bowl.

Serve with a green salad and Russian dressing. A fruit gelatin salad makes a complimentary dessert.

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