Thursday, December 26, 2013

Hearty Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash and Quinoa

The day after Christmas is a wonderful day to clean up our acts, to practice a little moderation and put carbs and sugar back in their place on the food pyramid. I was mentally ready to get back on my running program and set some new goals for 2014. This stew was the right step back to a healthy lifestyle for the Salmon household, especially after noshing on sweets for the last three days. 
This stew is one of the best I've ever made. The combination of butternut squash, quinoa, and kalamata olives is phenomenal. I now understand why this is one of Dara's (from the Cookin' Canuck blog) most popular recipes. 

Hearty Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash and Quinoa 
1 1/2 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 pounds 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 ounce) 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 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 starts to turn brown, 8-10 minutes.
  8. Add the salt, minced garlic, and oregano. Cook, stirring for an additional minute.
  9. To the saucepan, add tomatoes, butternut squash pieces, mashed butternut squash, and stir to combine. 
  10. Stir in the 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 in the chicken, olives, and pepper into the stew and simmer, uncovered, to heat, about 5 minutes. 
  13. Stir in the parsley and serve. 

1 comment:

  1. Wasn't Quinoa Tonto's horse's name? Sorry. Had to do it. The dish looks wonderful! And "the Salmon household" made me smile all over. Why doesn't Josh weigh 350 lbs. by now?