Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Big Red Pot: Chicken Stew (because I know you all love quinoa)...

It was time. Time to get back into the kitchen. We've eaten out more meals than I care to admit due to the last two weeks of Nutcracker madness. I needed something homemade. Something healthy. Something simmering. From the Big Red Pot.

Chicken stew sounded like just the ticket. Especially when the other ingredients were butternut squash and everyone's favorite superfood...quinoa. Throw in a few kalamata olives for some twang and we've got a winner. Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner.

I served the stew up in my favorite Christmas bowls. They are rimmed in orange instead of traditional Christmas red. Which makes me love them even more. This set is about 20 years old. Which makes me love them even more. I bought them in NYC with my mom on a whim. Which makes me love them even more. I can't wait to put them into rotation each year right after Thanksgiving dinner. And I'm always a little sad when I have to put them back up again on January 2nd.

Now if only there was one of those cheese biscuits sitting smack in the middle like they serve it at Panera my comfort food would be complete. I told you we've eaten out too much lately. I'm pretty sure I can tell you everything on Panera's menu. And how much it costs. With tax. And a 99 cent baked good added on. Thankyouverymuch. Mypleasure.

Oh, and a tip for all the single ladies. If you're looking for a man, don't go to the bars. Head over to your local Pit Smoked BBQ fast food joint instead. That place is teeming with men. Rugged men. Manly men. Men without women men. Men who like women men. Men who like women who like bbq men. A-men. Your welcome. Send me an invitation to the wedding. And be sure to serve bbq at the reception. 
What Am I Going to be When I Grow Up? 
22. Fast Food Connoisseur 
23. Matchmaker
Hearty Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash and Quinoa
Yield: Serves 6
From the kitchen of Cookin Canuck. www.cookincanuck.com

  • 1 1/2 lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded & chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 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 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
  1. Steam the butternut squash until barely tender, about 10 minutes. Remove half of the squash pieces and set aside.
  2. Steam the remaining squash until very tender, an additional 4 to 6 minutes. Mash this squash with the back of a fork. Set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan set over medium-high heat, bring the chicken broth to a simmer.
  4. Add chicken thighs, cover, and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  5. Transfer the chicken thighs to a plate and allow to cool. Pour broth into a medium-sized bowl.
  6. Return the saucepan to the stovetop and lower heat to medium. Add olive oil.
  7. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is starting to turn brown, 8 to 10 minutes.
  8. Add minced garlic and oregano. Cook, stirring, for 1 additional minute.
  9. To the saucepan, add tomatoes, butternut squash pieces, mashed butternut squash. Stir to combine.
  10. Stir in reserved chicken broth and quinoa. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the quinoa turns translucent, about 15 minutes.
  11. Shred the chicken with your fingers or a fork.
  12. Stir the chicken, olives and pepper into the stew and simmer, uncovered, to heat, about 5 minutes
  13. Stir in parsley and serve.


Dani said...

I have missed you so much!!!!

I'm getting an early Christmas gift by going back and reading all that I've missed. Because you are nothing short of awesome.

Jen said...

I do love that red pot. Saving this recipe for sure. Yummy and i like your take on manly men.

Jen said...

I do love that red pot. Saving this recipe for sure. Yummy and i like your take on manly men.

Jen said...

I do love that red pot. Saving this recipe for sure. Yummy and i like your take on manly men.

Caroline said...

Oh yeah...gonna try this recipe!

Kristin said...

OMG, you know I haven't eaten solid food in 2 days and then you have to go and post this!!! I'm dying over here...I can almost taste it's yummyness right through the computer screen!!!

Amy said...

This looks so good. I Love quinoa. I have a recipe for black beans and quinoa that is soooo good. I'll have to find it and send it over.

Amy said...


sloan said...

ooooh, yum, another quinoa recipe for my book ... the photos look scrumptious - it looks like the perfect snow day recipe to me!!

Karina said...

I am giggling so hard. I have an image of you ... In a nutcracker induced stooper ... Stumbling into every takeout joint in town. I have my first bag of quinoa in my pantry just looking for a good recipe but this one is too much work for this week (wonder if I could crock pot it?). You know those dishes probably were red in their day?

Kerri said...

I feel better knowing I have a backup plan in case my first marriage doesn't work out! Thanks for the tip!
Winner winner chicken dinner...we say that all the time! Your chicken stew looks delish...I'm writing this one down!

Nicolle said...

I love the bowls, and the memory that you bought them with your mom, which makes them extra special. Your stew looks fabulous, and I am a lover of quinoa! Kevin just bought me a Big Blue Pot, like your red one, so this recipe will be perfect. Oh, and I laughed at your BBQ joint story. :)

mandy said...


And love the bowls

And love that we have the same big red pot!

Cindy said...

You had me at panera cheese biscuits!! and had me laughing at the 99 cent baked good! You know I love that place!:)
your bowls are beautiful and I love the story.
passing on that recipe to the chef...and wishing we had a big red pot!
have a happy day kim

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

I love quinoa and I love that pot! Did you know that quinoa is really high in protein? Of course you did. That's why you are making it!

I am bookmarking this! Yum!

Jennifer Thompson said...

Mmm, that looks like yummy yummy winter comfort food!
Adding that to my list of recipes to try, thanks!