I can not tell you the last time I had stew. I’m embarrassed to admit this, but it was probably out of a can and poured over rice, back when I was living at home. This stew could not be more different from that! It is tasty, warm, and very filling but will not leave you feeling crappy and bloated. While low in calories and fat, a bowl full of this hearty stew will easily satisfy a craving for comfort food. Also, butternut squash is high in Vitamins A and C, as well as fiber.
This stew can be made in advance. However, you may need to add a little more chicken broth before serving because the quinoa will expand as it sits. Either way, the flavors and textures are fantastic and it is sure to become a cold-weather favorite. I didn’t get to add the olives because someone in my house will not eat anything if it is within one foot of an olive. I could imagine how good it would be with them though.
- 1 and 1/2 lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded & chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
- 3 and 1/2 cups homemade vegetable stock, or chicken broth
- 1 and 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 and 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 can (14 oz) 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
- Steam the butternut squash until barely tender, about 10 minutes. Remove half of the squash pieces and set aside.
- Steam 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 saucepan 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 saucepan to the stove-top 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 minced garlic and oregano. Cook, stirring, for 1 additional minute.
- To the saucepan, 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.