16 February 2012

Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash and Quinoa

Pinterest once again helped put another delicious, healthy meal on my table.  After pinning this gorgeous photo:
the colorful stew called to me and so, I decided to try the recipe.
AMAZING!  One of the reasons I've mentioned about why I don't cook with quinoa is the lack of flavor so many of the recipes have. Although plenty of health nuts would claim the grain doesn't need added spices because it has a rich, nutty flavor, they would be wrong. Quinoa isn't bad by itself but it certainly doesn't offer much in the taste department.  But for the stew, this is not the case.  It's just good. Here's mine:

I also love that it looks just like the well-lit stew in the professional photo-- plenty of colorful veggies accented with creamy quinoa.

Hearty Chicken, Butternut Squash, and Quinoa Stew
  • 1 1/2 lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded & chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken broth**
  • 1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp 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
  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 chicken thighs, cover, and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  5. Transfer the chicken thighs 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 is starting to turn brown, 8 to 10 minutes.
  8. Add 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.

**One thing I did differently to save money and sodium is that I made homemade broth using bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs.  Put thighs in a pot, cover with 4 cups of water instead of 3 1/2 cups broth,  then boil the chicken for 15 to 20 minutes. Once cooked, skim broth if you need to, peel and shred chicken, then continue the recipe. It adds more time but it's easier on the wallet and your arteries. Also, be generous with the parsley-- it's good.

I'm pretty sure you can omit the chicken, switch to veggie broth, and BOOM! Vegan stew.

1 comment: