Sunday, March 31, 2013

Winter Squash Quinoa Chicken Stew


Blue Hubbard Squash.  Cucurbita Maxima (the latin term, which sounds much cooler).  Ever heard of this variety of winter squash?  If you’ve ever been a member of a CSA, or frequent farmer’s markets in the winter perhaps you have.  These babies are huge.  I received this in my winter CSA box from Delvin Farms, and it occupied quite a bit of real estate on the counter for more than a couple months.  Back in February my friend, local Nashville food blogger, Fearless Homemaker posted a delightful looking stew using butternut squash, and I was finally inspired to tackle this daunting vegetable.

Let me just tell you, peeling this sucker was a pain in the you know what.  I just attacked it with my peeler like a ninja.  Anyone who claims peeling a butternut squash is difficult, I dare you to try this one!  After I finally got this thing peeled, I scooped the seeds and chopped it.  I had way more than enough for this stew, so I froze the other half.


(What’s up… impromptu photoshoot on my windowsill at work…)

This stew came together pretty easily, and it was a really great “Sunday stew”.  Saturday and Sunday are the ONLY nights of the week I can cook.  That’s part of the reason for the lack of non-dessert posts these days.  We have it down to a science, where I meal plan for the week, shop for the groceries, and do as much prep work as I can.  I often do a slow cooker meal, or a meal that Nathan only has to turn on the oven and put it in.  So, I certainly enjoy when my Sunday cooking project is a hearty soup that we can eat for dinner more than one night a week, and I can also take for my lunch.  Also, Elliott LOVED it.  Like, loveloveloved it.  I already knew he was a fan of butternut squash & sweet potatoes.  He loves soft cubes of veggies he can pop in his mouth.  The squash and tomatoes in this stew were perfect for that.  He avoided the chicken, as he just doesn’t seem to be a fan of the texture, so I am glad he got protein from the quinoa.  I think he found it’s texture very interesting!  I served this to him a few nights in a row, and each night he gobbled it up and made the most glorious mess.  These days a meal that will please him, as well as us adults, is a definite win!  I apologize for waiting so long to share it with you!



Winter Squash Quinoa Chicken Stew

Yield: 6 servings

The original recipe calls for 3/4 cup pitted + quartered kalamata olives, but both Fearless Homemaker & I have olive-averse husbands, so I omitted them like she did. You can add them when you add the chicken if you'd like to use them.


1 1/2 lb. squash such as blue hubbard or butternut, peeled, seeded + chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
3 cups chicken broth
the meat of 1 rotisserie chicken (about 3-4 cups), shredded (I used both white + dark meat)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 can (14 oz) petite diced tomatoes (I used fire roasted)
2/3 cup uncooked quinoa
3/4 cup pitted and quartered kalamata olives (optional)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley


Steam the squash until barely tender, about 10 minutes. Remove half of the squash pieces and set aside.

Steam the remaining squash until very tender, an additional 4 to 6 minutes. Mash this squash with the back of a fork. Set aside.

In a large saucepan set over medium heat, add the olive oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is starting to turn golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the minced garlic and oregano, cook, stirring, for 1 additional minute.

Add the diced tomatoes, squash pieces, mashed squash, chicken broth, and quinoa. Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the quinoa turns translucent, about 15 minutes.

Add the shredded chicken, kalamata olives (if using), and salt & pepper. Simmer, uncovered, until chicken is heated through and sauce has thickened to your liking. For me, this took about 10-15 more minutes. Add more salt/pepper if needed, to taste.

Garnish with the fresh parsley + serve. (I omitted the parsley, obviously.)

Calories 329 / Total Fat 14.1g / Saturated Fat 1.0 / Cholesterol 15.2mg / Sodium 1209mg / Total Carbohydrates 32.8g / Fiber 5.4g / Sugars 3.0g / Protein 19.4g / WW (Old Points) 7 / WW (Points+) 9

as seen on Fearless Homemaker, originally from Cookin' Canuck

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