Oh, my. This stew. Autumn in a bowl.
It's healthy and it's hearty.
It's like a robust flavor explosion of amazingness that cannot be paralleled.
You think I'm being dramatic, don't you? You're scoffing at my blatant over-the-top claim, aren't you?
Just do me the favor of making this stew and then we'll see who is using hyperboles.
I made this stew last fall with a very dear friend of mine. And we loved it. We loved it so much that we made it again for her birthday. And we had a bonfire. And I ate too much. And I failed at making homemade caramel.
Today was her birthday and I miss her very much. My friend, I make this in your honor and I am so very glad we are friends and that you were born and that the Universe decided that our paths needed to cross. I am fortunate like that. Happy Birthday.
Since this week marks the upcoming joy/madness/exhaustion of Halloween, do yourself a favor and make this ahead of time (it keeps beautifully) and then heat it up and eat up before you head out into the cool of the October night.
This recipe was a fortunate Pinterest find and is based on Cookin' Canuck's Recipe, found here. Check out her site for more healthy recipes!
Butternut Squash & Chicken Stew
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into 1 inch pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil*
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 can (14 oz) petite diced tomatoes
2/3 cup uncooked quinoa
3/4 cup pitted and quartered kalamata olives
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley**
*As per usual, I didn't measure the olive oil...just a good glug to cover the bottom of the pan
**I didn't have any fresh parsley, so I used about a tablespoon of dried and it still tasted fantastic
1. Steam the butternut squash until barely tender, about 10 minutes. Remove half of the squash pieces and set aside.
2. Steam the remaining squash until very tender, an additional 4 to 6 minutes. Mash this squash with the back of a fork. Set aside.
3. In a large saucepan set over medium-high heat, bring the chicken broth to a simmer.
4. Add the sliced chicken breasts, cover, and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
5. Transfer the cooked chicken breasts to a plate and allow to cool. Pour broth into a medium-sized bowl.
6. Return the saucepan to the stovetop and lower heat to medium. Add olive oil.
7. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion becomes soft and translucent, 8 to 10 minutes.
8. Add the salt, minced garlic and oregano. Cook, stirring, for 1 additional minute.
9. To the saucepan, add tomatoes, butternut squash pieces, mashed butternut squash. Stir to combine.
10. Stir in reserved chicken broth and quinoa. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the quinoa turns translucent, about 15 minutes.
11. Shred the chicken with your fingers or a fork.
12. Stir the chicken, olives, and pepper into the stew and simmer, uncovered, to heat, about 5 minutes.
13. Stir in parsley and serve.
Spoon your beautiful stew into a big old bowl, curl up, and start thinking about those hyperboles because I wasn't kidding around when I described how good this stew is, was I?
Enjoy your Halloween week, friends!
p.s. Whenever I use squash or pumpkin in a recipe, I save the seeds, soak them overnight in a little salt water, and roast them. Yum-o.
Sites I Dig
The Road is Home
The Seed & Plate
Sharon Covert Photography
The Define School
The Noisy Plume
Sarah Gee Photography
Fox & Owl Studio
The Stork and The Beanstalk
Mellow Yellow Photography
A Simple Little Journal
What I've Been Reading
The Girls by Emma Cline
A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
Never Broken by Jewel
Hold Still by Sally Mann