Thursday, 23 February 2012

Curried chicken butternut squash stew

This is definitely one of those dishes that tastes better than it looks! (Let's hope!) I came across a recipe that used acorn squash with curry, and the idea intrigued me... I have actually never cooked with squash (besides your annual pumpkin pie), and the so-called savoury squash dishes I've eaten have been more remniscent of said pumpkin pie than anything I would like to eat for a main course.

My husband shares my dubious attitudes towards squash, so when I came home from the grocery store with a honkin' butternutter, he looked at me askance. However, I am *trying* to cook more seasonally, and tis the squash season, so all the more reason.

So, combining the idea of a chicken curry with a squash soup, I modified the following recipe into a curry stew:

1 butternut squash
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts or 4-6 thighs (cut into bite-sized pieces)
2 TBSP olive oil
2 tsp curry
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chili
2 tsp grated ginger
1 small onion (diced finely)
2 minced garlic cloves
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp red wine vinegar
seasoning to taste

Cut the squash lengthwise, scoop out the guts, and lie facedown on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 325 for about an hour. Once the squash is tender, remove the peel and cut into bite-sized pieces.

Add the olive oil to a large pot and sautee onion, garlic, and spices on medium-high. Add the chicken and continue sauteeing until the chicken is nearly done. If the spices start to burn, add a bit more olive oil combined with water.

Add the squash, Worcestershire sauce, red wine vinegar and cover the mixture with water. Simmer for about 30 minutes and then serve! :)

A nice dollop of sour cream is a great garnish. As would be fresh parsley. However, I have decided a while ago to forego fresh herbs in the winter. They are pricey and the grocery stores always make you buy way too much, causing at least half the bunch to go bad. Maybe next fall I'll experiment with drying/preserving my own herbs!

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