Chicken and Butternut Squash Stew with Quinoa

This stew is super hearty, very healthy, and has great flavor! There’s a little bit of prep involved in this one, but nothing too complicated. I admit, I had partaken in a very oversized glass of wine prior to starting this meal, so it took a little longer than it should have. (I’m a light weight!) Safety first! I took my time cubing my squash so I wouldn’t loose a finger. 😉

The stew is fairly simple to make once you have your ingredients prepped, measured and ready to go. I used red quinoa – oddly enough it’s cheaper than the original quinoa in Costco (at least compared to the pricing in the grocery store). This is my giant bag of red quinoa, its only like $8-$9 at Costco (I’m guessing… Because I bought it a couple of weeks ago and I can’t remember… But it WAS a good deal!)

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Hubby even let me use the kalamata olives it called for, although I used less than 1/4 cup, vs. 3/4 cup it originally called for. He hates olives, but I’m so glad he let me use them, they really add good flavor to the stew – even he liked it.

Chicken and Butternut Squash Stew with Quinoa
Serves 6

Ingredients
1 1/2 lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded & cubed 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
1/4 cup pitted and quartered kalamata olives
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

Instructions
Place cubed squash in a microwave safe dish with a little water (just enough to cover the bottom of the dish), cover and microwave until barely tender, about 10 minutes. Remove half of the squash cubes and set aside. Microwave 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 pot set over medium-high heat, bring the chicken broth to a simmer. Add chicken thighs, cover, and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Transfer the chicken thighs to a plate and allow to cool. Pour broth into a medium-sized bowl.

Return the pot to the stovetop and lower heat to medium. Add olive oil. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is starting to turn brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the salt, minced garlic and oregano. Cook, stirring, for 1 additional minute.

To the pot, add tomatoes, butternut squash pieces, mashed butternut squash. Stir to combine. Stir in reserved chicken broth and quinoa. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the quinoa turns translucent, about 15 minutes.

Shred the chicken with your fingers or a fork. Stir the chicken, olives and pepper into the stew and simmer, uncovered, to heat, about 5 minutes.

Stir in parsley and serve.

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