EMILY’S HEARTY BUTTERNUT SQUASH QUINOA CHICKEN STEW

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Food_Squash_natalie-rhea

This stew is my favorite thing to make around the holidays. It’s equally good as a weekday meal or as a holiday dinner dish. I’ve meal prepped with this recipe and brown-bagged it all week – because it’s protein-packed, possibly even more amazing when reheated, and travels well in a jar – and I’ve also brought this stew to countless Thanksgiving dinners and holiday parties, where it won’t disappoint.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large butternut squash, cut into cubes

            Short on time? Buy the pre-cut version… we won’t tell.

  • 1 can petite tomatoes (opt for the spicy ones if you want extra heat in your stew!)
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 8 bone-in chicken thighs

            Short on time? A rotisserie chicken will do – add an additional 1/2 cup of chicken broth if you choose to use a rotisserie chicken.

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2/3 cup quinoa
  • ¾ cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • Fresh herbs (I like parsley, basil oregano), minced (optional – for garnish)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Toss the butternut squash cubes onto a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Arrange the chicken thighs into a separate baking dish and drizzle with salt and pepper.
  4. Roast them both for 35-40 minutes.

While they’re roasting…

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot set over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is golden, 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, for 1 additional minute.
  4. Add tomatoes, chicken broth, and quinoa. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the quinoa turns translucent, about 15-20 minutes.
  5. Once they’re roasted, remove butternut squash from oven. Grab a fork and smash half the butternut squash pieces, leaving the other half in cubes. Add butternut squash pieces, mashed butternut squash. Stir to combine.
  6. Once chicken is roasted, remove from the oven and shred or pull apart with two forks or your hands. Add to the stew along with any roasted chicken juices left in the dish.
  7. Add the olives and a pinch of pepper into the stew and simmer, uncovered, to heat, about 5 minutes.
  8. Top with parsley and serve.
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