Happy 1st day of fall! Part of me is embracing the thought of crisp weather, hearty stews, apple pie, and cooler morning runs eagerly and the other part of me is in denial that summer already came and went and I hardly remember what I did! Alas, fall is here!
Last weekend when hubs and I were home for a visit, his mother loaded us down with the late summer harvest from her garden; purple potatoes, kale, carrots, bell peppers, and spaghetti & butternut squash. (Plus 2 dozen eggs!!) A few other friends of ours generously gave us a large supply of roma tomatoes, more carrots and a crown broccoli. While we were driving back to our little apartment in the suburbs, the two of us commented on how grateful we are and how blessed we’ve been by the generosity of our family and friends with their farm & garden treats. That is exactly what we intent to do when we are able to move back home!
In the meantime, we’ve enjoyed using those reminders of home in our weekly cooking. The tomatoes were quartered and mixed with fresh basil, garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper and laid out on cookie sheets to roast (for about an hour). Once roasted, they were packed into freezer bags for later use in pasta sauce. The butternut squash is currently turning into dinner for this evening!
Butternut Squash and Rosemary Chicken Stew
1. Wash the outside of the squash and cut it lengthwise with a large knife. Spoon out the seeds and lay the halves ‘face’ down on a cookie sheet lined with tin foil (easy clean-up is a big win!!) Roast the squash for about an hour until it has softened. Set aside and let cool.
2. In a small sauce pan (I used a 2 quart pan) add a little olive oil and turn on medium heat. Throw in half of a yellow onion, diced and sauté.
3. When the diced onions have started to turn translucent, add in 2 cups of chicken broth (one 16 oz. can) and 2 cups of water. Dice up 2-3 standard carrots. I used these little (oddly shaped) beauties from our friends’ garden! Add in the carrots and 1 thawed chicken breast. Let boil for 1 hour until the internal temperature of the chicken has reached at least 160 degrees.
4. In the meantime, scoop out the centers of your squash. I used a fairly average sized butternut squash and it yielded 3 cups. Store away 1 cup for later use (delicious substitute for butter or oil in baked goods!) and use the remaining 2 cups for the soup. Add in 1 1/2 teaspoons of fresh garlic, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, 1/8 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon celery seed and pepper to taste. I also added in 1/3 cup of pre-cooked brown rice.
5. After the chicken is fully cooked, remove it from the pot and carefully cut it up into cubes. Return the diced chicken back to the pot of broth. Add in your squash and the seasonings as well as the rice and 1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream. Let everything simmer in the pot on low heat for another 15-20 minutes.
Butternut Squash and Rosemary Chicken Stew————————————————————————————————–
Yield: About 1 quart of stew
Time: 2 hours ( assuming 1 hour is used to roast the acorn squash)
- 2 cups mashed roasted butternut squash (no need to puree and dirty up yet another kitchen device)
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 chicken breast, thawed
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 2-3 carrots, diced
- 1 1/2 tsp. fresh minced garlic
- 1 tsp. dried rosemary
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. celery seed
- 1/8 tsp. cumin
- pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup cooked brown rice
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
Two amazing things about this recipe–
#1: It only yields 1 quart of stew, perfect for a family of 2!! Sorry if you are cooking for a massive family, but cooking for two also has its unique challenges (unless you’re fine eating the same thing for 5 meals in a row.)
#2: It requires a minimal amount of cookware!
You basically use:
- 1 pot (2 quart)
- 1 foil covered cooking sheet (to roast the squash)–no washing needed!
- 1 cutting board (for the fresh veggies to dice at the beginning as well as the cooked chicken at the end)
- A few measuring spoons and cups, a knife to dice with and some spoons to stir with and….that’s IT!
Perfect recipe for a small family living in a small apartment 🙂 If you fit that bill…give this savory fall stew a try!