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RECIPE:  CHICKEN & BUTTERNUT SQUASH STEW

An exotic spin on a western favorite.  The sweetness of butternut squash lends itself brilliantly with the cinnamon in the TASTE OF LEBANON spice blend, while the garnish of pomegranate, herbs and yogurt adds a light freshness to this hearty meal.

PREP TIME:  10-15 min

COOK TIME:  1 hour 30 min

SERVES:   4

INGREDIENTS

FOR COOKING:

  • 8 boneless and skinless chicken thighs

  • Pinch of salt (to season the chicken)

  • 2 TBSP (30 ml) olive oil

  • 2 onions, chopped

  • 2 TBSP (30 ml) lemon juice

  • 1 Lebanon spice blend sachet

  • 1 whole butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into bite sized cubes (600-700 g cubed)

  • One 400 g (14 oz) tin of tomatoes

  • 80 g fresh ginger, peeled and finely diced

  • 2 cups (480 ml) water

  • 1-2 TBSP (15-30 ml) honey (adjust to your desired sweetness)

  • 1 tsp salt

 

TO SERVE

  • Plain yogurt

  • Fresh mint or coriander (cilantro)

  • Fresh pomegranate seeds

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS
CONVENTIONAL STOVE/OVEN METHOD

1)  Season chicken with salt on both sides and cut into bite-sized pieces. 

 

2)  Heat a 2 ½ QT (3 L) pot on medium high.  Add 1 TBSP olive oil and, working in batches, brown chicken pieces, remove and set aside.

 

3)  Add remaining 1 TBSP of oil and the chopped onion to the pot, and cook for 10 minutes (to become sweet).

 

4)  Add lemon juice and stir to dislodge any brown bits (that’s flavor!)

 

5)  Add the chicken back to the pot, tip in the Lebanon spice blend and mix well to coat.

 

6)  Add the butternut, tomatoes, ginger, water, honey and salt and mix well.

 

7)  Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for at least one hour to let the flavours develop.

 

You can also transfer to to the oven (in an oven-proof dish of course) and slow-cook, covered, for a few hours at 100C.

WONDERBAG METHOD

If you have a wonderbag, you can enjoy hands-free, energy-free slow cooking and let the pot sit in the Wonderbag all day for maximum flavor development.

 

1)  Season chicken with salt on both sides and cut into bite-sized pieces. 

 

2)  Heat a 2 ½ QT (3 L) pot on medium high.  Add 1 TBSP olive oil and, working in batches, brown chicken pieces, remove and set aside.

 

3)  Add remaining 1 TBSP of oil and the chopped onion to the pot, and cook for 10 minutes (to become sweet).

 

4)  Add lemon juice and stir to dislodge any brown bits (that’s flavor!)

 

5)  Add the chicken back to the pot, tip in the Lebanon spice blend and mix well to coat.

 

7)  Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.

 

8)  Seal your lidded pot in the Wonderbag for a minimum of 3 hours (can be left all day) to finish cooking

SERVE

Spoon into bowls and top with a dollop of plain yogurt, fresh mint or coriander, and pomegranate seeds.

You can also serve this over brown rice or quinoa to increase the fibre count.

Recipe Credit:  Jac Squire

Photo Credit:  Cathy Menees

COOK'S NOTES

PREP TIME

10 minutes to prep if you buy pre-cut squash and chicken, 20 minutes to prep if you are working with whole ingredients!

INGREDIENTS

The boneless, skinless chicken thighs I used had a combined weight of 700 g (24 oz, or 1.5 lbs), so keep that weight in mind if you’re buying chicken that is already pre-cut into pieces.

 

If buying pre-cut butternut squash cubes (which will save you time), then go for 600-700 grams (up to 24 oz or 1.5 lbs).

COOKING TIMES

Slow cooking this dish delivers on flavor, so if you have the time, let it go low and slow…

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