Hearty chicken stew

Now that I’ve posted my recipe for chicken stock, it seems appropriate for me to post a recipe that uses some of the actual chicken, as well as plenty of stock. This recipe is adapted from one posted by Dara Michalski over at Cookin’ Canuck. I found it a few years ago and have been making it every winter since, with a few adjustments. It’s hearty, filling, and super healthy.

Hearty Chicken Stew

  • 2 small or 1 large winter squash (I usually use butternut)
  • 4-5 c. chicken stock (or more, depending on how much liquid you prefer in the end product)
  • 2-3 c. shredded chicken
  • 1 Tbsp. high heat cooking oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced (you can use more or less to taste)
  • 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 3/4 c. kalamata or green olives, sliced
  • 3/4 c. raisins
  • 1 c. quinoa or whole wheat couscous
  • 1/4 c. parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Peel the squash and slice in half. Remove seeds and discard or set aside to roast. Cut squash into one inch cubes and boil until just soft, but not mushy. Drain and set aside.

In a large stockpot, heat oil on medium-high and saute onions until translucent — approximately five minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Add tomatoes, chicken stock and butternut squash. Simmer for 5 minutes.

At this point, the directions are slightly different depending on whether you choose to use quinoa or couscous, since they have different cooking times.

Quinoa: Add quinoa and bring stew to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until quinoa is translucent, approximately 15-20 minutes. Add olives and raisins halfway through the quinoa’s cooking time, stirring to mix. When the quinoa is cooked, add chicken and parsley.

Couscous: Add couscous, olives, raisins, and chicken and simmer for 5 minutes, or until couscous is soft and has absorbed much of the liquid. Stir in parsley and serve.

Notes:

Quinoa is technically gluten free (though it may contain compounds that behave similarly to gluten) and may be considered kosher for Passover. It is also high in both fiber and protein, making it in high demand from people looking for alternatives to rice and other carb-heavy foods. Unfortunately, the increased demand has been a mixed bag in Bolivia, where much of the world’s quinoa comes from. Increased demand means increased prices. While the farmers who grow quinoa can set aside enough for their own families, poorer, rural Bolivians may no longer be able to afford what has long been a staple of their diet. I think it’s fine to buy quinoa, but do try to ensure that the product you buy is at least marked fair trade.

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