Healthy Living Y Stories YMCA Camps and Outdoor Education

Linda and her famous chicken stew recipe

Cooks preparing chicken stew

Linda has cooked meals for thousands of visitors to YMCA Cedar Glen Outdoor Centre over the past 9 years. Her chicken stew is a favourite (see recipe below!), but everything Linda has a hand in is nutritious and delicious. Linda’s path to the Y was a long one, but we are fortunate she found her way to Cedar Glen.

Linda was born in San Ana, El Salvador, and immigrated to Toronto in 1986 along with her husband, Tito, and young daughter, Dora. She worked for a furniture manufacturer for 25 years in the finishing department, but when the business closed, Linda and her family moved to Schomberg, where she soon found an opportunity to become a part of the Cedar Glen food service team as a cook.

Linda embodies the values of the YMCA in her caring spirit, respect for everyone she meets, and enormous responsibility and leadership qualities. Linda has shaped the way we cook at Cedar Glen, teaching our food service team new recipes and different cooking methods with a Spanish twist. Although chicken stew is her signature meal at Cedar Glen, she has taught the food service team how to make deliciously fresh salsa, Spanish rice, quesadillas, and much more.

Here’s the recipe for how to make Linda’s Famous Chicken Stew at home in your slow cooker:

Linda’s famous chicken stew


2 cups of chopped carrots
2 chopped potatoes
½ cup of chopped onions
½ cup of chopped celery
1 pound of chicken breast, chopped
1 teaspoon of thyme
¼ teaspoon of salt
¼ teaspoon of pepper
1 tablespoon of paprika
½  of a cup of heavy cream
¼  of a cup of corn starch


Sprinkle the vegetables with the salt, pepper, paprika, and ½ teaspoon of thyme, and add it to the slow cooker. Add the chopped, boneless chicken breast. Cover and cook on low for eight hours, or until the chicken and vegetables are tender and fully cooked.

Remove the chicken and vegetables from the slow cooker with a slotted spoon and set aside. Increase the temperature of the slow cooker to high and add the heavy cream, cornstarch, and the other ½ teaspoon of thyme. Cover and cook for 10 minutes or until the broth has thickened. Return the vegetables and chicken to the slow cooker and serve immediately.


Plate of rice and chicken stew