Thursday, December 2, 2010

Winter Squash & Chicken Stew with Indian Spices

Ok, I know this food is kind of ugly, but PLEASE bear with me, because it’s also incredibly delicious!

It’s funny that I almost didn’t make this dish.  Being the queen of indecisiveness, I couldn’t decide between two different recipes, and I kept going back and forth in my head.  I was searching for a recipe that used chicken thighs, as that was what I had thawed out for dinner, and butternut squash because I had a HUGE HONKIN’ one from my CSA.  In the end, this one made the cut, partially because I only recently purchased curry powder for the first time, and was a bit anxious to use it in a recipe.

While I was cooking, The Boy commented that it smelled good.  And then, once it was time to eat, he took just one bite and said “Oh, this is pretty good!”, but with a tone of disbelief.  Yet again, further into the meal, he said “If you made this again, I’d eat it.”  Believe it or not, that is a compliment!  Haha…  Our usual dinner conversation consists of me asking him “Is it good?” and him replying “It’s alright.”  He thinks that’s a compliment as well.  But then, after dinner, the ultimate compliment… he posted on Facebook “Miss Erin hit it out of the park with dinner tonight.”  Oh yeah…  if he’s bragging to his 641 friends on Facebook it musta been good!!

Ok, so you probably want to know what’s so great about this???  Well, it’s hard to describe!  The combination of curry powder, cinnamon, and cumin, is truly magical and mysterious!  It’s definitely got a flavor you can’t quite put your finger on.  The cinnamon, combined with the butternut squash & sweet potatoes give it an edge of sweetness.  We really enjoy chicken thighs here in our house, as the dark meat is more tender and juicy than breast.  I think you could substitute chicken breast if you wanted, but you may want to add more broth.

One more exciting fact!  When making this, I used one of the cans of tomatoes from my 2010 Muir Glen Reserve kit!!  For only $8 you can get some really special organic canned tomatoes ONLY available by ordering a kit.  In case you don’t remember, I did this last year, and made Braised Tuscan Chicken with Fennel and White Beans.  That was a recipe from the recipe book they also provide in the kit.  I really can’t brag on this kit enough, from the packaging to the lovely recipes included, it’s really a special thing I’m beginning to look forward to each year.  I loved it so much last year, and was psyched to learn this year’s crop was ready.  I think it would be a great little Christmas gift for the foodie in your life, and definitely a great addition to your own kitchen!

**I was contacted by a rep from Muir Glen offering me a complimentary Reserve Kit, with no strings attached.  I wasn’t asked to review it, or even blog about it.  But, as usual, me being me, if I love a product I want to tell the world so everyone can experience it’s greatness!  haha… for instance, how many people I know in real life ever hear me go on and on about Netflix? ;)**


Winter Squash & Chicken Stew with Indian Spices

adapted from Bon Appétit via Epicurious


2 teaspoons olive oil
6 chicken thighs, skin removed

1 1/3 cups chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 cups 1-inch pieces peeled butternut or acorn squash
2 cups 1-inch pieces peeled sweet potatoes
1 cup canned low-salt chicken broth
1 14 1/2- to 16-ounce can diced tomatoes with liquid
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro


Heat 1 teaspoon oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Add to Dutch oven; sauté until brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer to plate.

Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in same pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté until golden, about 5 minutes. Add curry powder, cumin, and cinnamon; stir 1 minute. Return chicken to pot. Add squash, potatoes, broth and tomatoes. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Uncover and simmer until chicken and potatoes are cooked through and liquid is slightly reduced, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with cilantro.

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