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Recipe: Butternut Squash, Chicken and Quinoa Stew

Butternut Squash, Chicken and Quinoa Stew

Butternut Squash, Chicken and Quinoa Stew


This recipe for Butternut Squash, Chicken and Quinoa Stew combines three of my favorite ingredients: Fall/Winter favorite butternut squash, chicken thighs and superfood quinoa.

This stew is full of flavor, nutrients and warmth. It’s a hearty stew perfect for cold weather and serving family style.

Butternut Squash, Chicken and Quinoa Stew

A healthy update on chicken stew


Ingredients:

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 6 chicken thigh filets
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, minced
  • 1/2 TBSP chili flakes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, steam the butternut squash until barely tender (about 10-12 minutes). Remove half of the squash pieces and set aside in a large bowl.
  2. Steam the remaining squash an additional 4-6 minutes. Mash this squash with a fork or potato masher then add to non-mashed squash in the bowl.
  3. Butternut Squash, Chicken and Quinoa Stew

    Parsley is pictured as the garnish, but I would suggest cilantro instead

  4. In a large Dutch oven (or saucepan), over medium-high heat, bring the chicken broth, some salt and pepper and chili flakes to a simmer.
  5. Add the chicken thighs, cover and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 12-15 minutes.
  6. Transfer the chicken thighs to a cutting board and let cool. Pour broth into a medium-sized bowl.
  7. Add the olive oil to the Dutch oven and return to the stove, reducing heat to medium.
  8. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is starting to turn brown, about 8-10 minutes.
  9. Add garlic and cook for an additional minutes, still stirring.
  10. To the Dutch oven, add the tomatoes and all the butternut squash. Stir to combine.
  11. Stir in reserved chicken broth and quinoa (make sure you’ve rinsed it). Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the quinoa turns translucent, about 15 minutes.
  12. Meanwhile, shred the chicken with a knife and fork on the cutting board.
  13. Stir the chicken into the stew and simmer, uncovered, to heat, about 5 minutes.
  14. Adjust seasoning as necessary.
  15. Stir in cilantro and serve.

Some of you smartypants may notice parsley is pictured in the dish in the photos I have. You’re correct, but honestly, I didn’t like the parsley in this dish so I replaced mine with cilantro and it was much much better.

This Butternut Squash, Chicken and Quinoa stew is the perfect meal for all those cold nights quickly approaching. Enjoy it with a nice glass of wine and some freshly baked bread.

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1 Comment

Posted by on November 2, 2012 in Cookin', One-Pot Wonders, Recipes, Soups/Stews

 

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Recipe: Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

I must confess I really miss good Tex-Mex cuisine. Living in Texas for 11 years definitely spoiled me. And as much as I love New Orleans, it’s not a hot spot for Tex-Mex.

So I have to do it myself. Last week I had a very specific craving for Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas so I made some. Here’s my recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cooked chicken meat, shredded
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 3 TBSP vegetable oil
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
  • 1 dozen corn tortillas
  • 2 cans diced green chillies (4-ounce cans)
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Chicken Enchilada Filling

    Chicken Enchilada Filling

  • 2 TBSP flour
  • 2 TBSP paprika
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 TBSP butter
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 3 cups shredded cheese (Cheddar, Pepper Jack or Monterey Jack)
  • Salsa (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 9×13 casserole dish.
  2. Heat 2 TBSP vegetable oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Fry tortillas for 10 seconds on each side. Then place them on a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  3. In a separate skillet, heat 1 TBSP vegetable oil over medium heat. Saute onion and jalapeño for 1 minute.
  4. Add chicken, 1 can of the green chillies and 1 TBSP paprika. Stir together.
  5. Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas Before Baking

    Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas Before Baking

  6. Add heavy cream and 1/2 cup chicken broth and stir. Allow mixture to bubble and get hot then turn off heat and set aside.
  7. In a separate large skillet, melt butter over medium heat and add in flour. Whisk together and cook for a minute or two.
  8. Pour in remaining chicken broth, whisk together and cook for an additional one to two minutes.
  9. Stir in remaining can of green chillies, reduce heat to low and add sour cream. Add 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese and stir to melt.
  10. Add 1 TBSP paprika and salt and pepper to taste.
  11. To assemble, spoon chicken mixture on to tortillas, individually. Top with cheese then roll. Place rolled enchiladas seam side down in 9 x 13 casserole dish.
  12. Pour cheese mixture on top of prepared enchiladas. Top with any remaining cheese you have.
  13. Bake for 30 minutes. Then let cool slightly, top with chopped cilantro and serve.

Feel free to add in more green chillies or jalapeño if you want a spicier version. These can be made ahead and reheated before serving. I served mine with refried black beans, half a sliced avocado and of course a fresh margarita.

These definitely conquered my craving, but I wish more New Orleans Tex-Mex options were available. Until then, I’ll have to make my own Tex-Mex.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on July 24, 2012 in Cookin', Entrees, Recipes

 

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Recipe: Cold Fried Chicken

Cold Fried Chicken

Cold Fried Chicken

To me, there are some foods that are just as good served cold as they are served warm/hot. Spaghetti, pizza, steak and fried chicken all come to mind. So I decided to try out a recipe for fried chicken, but to serve it cold — hence, Cold Fried Chicken.

The prep work for serving it cold is obviously no different than serving it warm. However, once cooked, you must make sure the chicken cools to room temperature before refrigerating. This helps the batter keep its crunch and prevents sweating between the batter and chicken meat.

Ingredients:

  • 1 fryer chicken, cut into 8 pieces (2 wings, 2 thighs, 2 legs, 2 breasts)
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 6 cloves garlic, roasted
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 6 TBSP hot sauce
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 TBSP black pepper
  • 1 TBSP garlic powder
  • 1 TBSP red pepper
  • 1 TBSP paprika
  • 1 TBSP cayenne pepper
  • 1 TBSP salt
  • Peanut oil, for frying

Directions:

  1. Rinse the chicken pieces and dry with a paper towel.
  2. In a large bowl, combine buttermilk, water, honey and roasted garlic. Then soak the chicken pieces in the buttermilk mixture for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.
  3. On a large platter, place flour and mix in spices. Mix well so the spices are nicely incorporated into the flour. Taste flour and adjust seasoning as you see fit.
  4. Roll the marinated chicken pieces in the flour mixture until well coated. Dip chicken back in buttermilk mixture and coat in flour again.
  5. Heat 1 inch of peanut oil in large skillet or Dutch oven to 375F. While oil is heating, leave chicken sitting in flour mixture.
  6. Cold Fried Chicken

    Fried Chicken is popular with my taste buds.

  7. Working in batches of 3 or 4 pieces, add chicken to oil skin side down.
  8. Fry for 5 minutes then turn to other side and fry for an additional 5 minutes. Continue to turn and fry 5 minutes per side for a total of 20 minutes (two 5-minute periods per side) until golden-brown. Use a meat thermometer to ensure chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 165F.
  9. Remove the chicken from the skillet and place on a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  10. Repeat frying process with remaining pieces.
  11. Once all chicken is cooked, let cool to room temperature before refrigerating. Refrigerate for several hours before serving cold.

This is some damn good fried chicken that keeps its crisp whether it’s hot or cold. It’s perfect for a summer picnic.

This is one of those dishes that’s actually better on the second day once it’s sat in the refrigerator for a while. After trying this Cold Fried Chicken, you may not want to go back to eating it hot.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on June 27, 2012 in Cookin', Entrees, Recipes

 

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Recipe: Honey-Lime Glazed Chicken Thighs

Honey-Lime Glazed Chicken Thighs

Honey-Lime Glazed Chicken Thighs

I’m not ashamed to admit that chicken thighs are my favorite cuts of chicken. They have the most flavor and don’t dry out the way breasts can.

This is a simple recipe that relies on three things: spices, a glaze and a broiler. I went for boneless, skinless chicken thighs to keep it on the healthy side, but I’m sure it’s just as good, if not better, with skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs.

Ingredients:

  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • Juice of one lime
  • 6 TBSP honey
  • 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp Aleppo pepper (or ground red pepper)
  • 2 tsp red pepper flakes

Honey-Lime Glazed Chicken Thighs

Honey-Lime Glazed Chicken Thighs Broiling in the Oven


Directions:

  1. Set broiler to high.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, cider vinegar and honey. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together all spices. Add chicken thighs and toss to coat completely.
  4. Place thighs on a broiler pan (or foil-lined baking sheet) and broil for 5-6 minutes on each side.
  5. Remove from oven and brush one side with half of honey-lime glaze. Broil for 1 minute then glaze and broil the remaining side another minute.
  6. Serve with sides of your choice.

In my experience, chicken thighs are even better the second day so I would encourage you to make this and eat it the next day. Doing so will allow the spices to settle into the meat even more.

This is a very easy recipe with a nice kick that won’t blow your waistline.

 
7 Comments

Posted by on March 28, 2012 in Cookin', Entrees, Recipes

 

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Recipe: Grapefruit Chicken

Grapefruit Chicken

Grapefruit Chicken

I’ve heard of orange chicken, lemon chicken, even lime chicken, but I can’t say I’ve ever thought about using chicken and grapefruit in a dish. I happened to have both on hand so I figured what the hell. I have to say I was very pleased with the results of Grapefruit Chicken.

The sweet-tart flavors of the grapefruit really went well with the chicken. I used half of the grapefruit juice I was able to get as a marinade and the other half in the dish and as a reduction to go over the chicken once done.

Ingredients:

  • 2 grapefruits
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 TBSP brown sugar
  • Grapefruit Reduction

    The Grapefruit Reduction

  • 1 TBSP honey
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Juice one grapefruit into a large bowl.
  3. For the second grapefruit, cut it into sections making sure to cut off any of the pith (white stuff). Place the segments in a medium saute pan.
  4. To the juice, add the brown sugar and honey. Whisk to combine all. Pour half the mixture into the saute pan. Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened.
  5. Grapefruit Chicken

    An overhead view of Grapefruit Chicken

  6. With the remaining half of juice mixture, add the olive oil, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine. Then place chicken in marinade and coat well. Cover and let marinate for 25 to 30 minutes.
  7. After 30 minutes, oil a baking pan and place in chicken breasts. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until chicken temperature reads 185F on a meat thermometer.
  8. Serve chicken breasts over rice, finishing with the grapefruit wedges and reduction sauce.

Tip: If you want a nice browning, after 15-20 minutes, turn on the broiler and leave breasts under the broiler for 5 minutes. But make sure the internal temperature is still 185F before removing from the oven.

This dish has me seriously reconsidering my stance on grapefruits. I might not be able to eat them alone, but I now know I can work with them.

 
14 Comments

Posted by on March 13, 2012 in Cookin', Entrees, Recipes

 

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