Chicken with Delicata Squash- The Recipe Redux
The Recipe Redux theme for this month is to open the cookbook you are currently loving and redux the recipe:
It’s the end of the year and we’re taking a moment to reflect – The Recipe ReDux has been around for 54 months! To celebrate, we’re playing a little party game this month: Grab your nearest cookbook and ReDux the recipe on page 54 or 154. We can’t wait to see the books you’re cooking from these days.
Right now I am really into Silvena Rowe’s “Purple Citrus and Sweet Perfume” a collection of recipes from the Eastern Mediterranean and personal stories that are short but sweet. Not to mention, every single recipe I have made out of it is absolutely amazing and offers something just a little different from traditional Mediterranean fare.
I had a tough time deciding between the pumpkin za’atar hummus on page 54 and the “Abu Basti- Lamb, Winter Squash and Tahini” on page 154. Both were so appropriately seasonal, but I went for the Abu Basti on page 154 because I was intrigued by the yogurt and tahini sauce. Plus, there is just something about a steaming stew this time of year that I just cannot turn down. And I am so glad I did, the flavor is incredible- warm and hearty without weighing me down.
I made a few substitutions, some because I didn’t have an ingredient on hand, like lamb or tahini (I used peanut butter because I almost always have it on hand whereas tahini… almost never). I subbed out the arborio rice in Ms. Rowe’s recipe for quinoa, simple because I like it better than rice, although I am sure the rice would be spectacular.
I added mint for a splash of color, plus I just love the fresh flavor it gives foods. I had some garbanzo beans laying around from a recent hummus endeavor and while the recipe called simply for “winter squash” I made the executive decision to use delicata for two reasons: 1) I had it laying around and 2) This dish is a little labor intensive (but so worth it) and the skin of a delicata is thin enough that I didn’t have to peel it… I just removed the seeds, cut the whole thing up and served it skin and all. It made for one less step.
- 1 lb chicken, cut into 1" cubes and seasoned with salt and pepper.
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 cups water
- 2 lbs. delicata squash, washed and cut into 1" cubes
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- 3 cups yogurt
- 1 egg yolk
- ¼ cup peanut butter
- 1 cup spinach, chopped
- 1 TBSP fresh mint, chopped
- 1½ cups cooked or canned garbanzo beans
- ¾ cup quinoa
- Preheat the oven to 400F
- Heat one portion of the oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add the chicken and heat, undisturbed, for about 2 minutes. Stir and left sit until golden brown on the other side, about 3 minutes more.
- Add the onion, garlic, bay leaves and water. Cover and reduce the heat to simmering. Simmer until meat is tender, about 1 hour. Remove the meat with a slotted spoon and reserve the cooking liquid.
- Meanwhile, arrange the squash on a baking sheet. Drizzle with remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the 400f oven about 20 minutes, until squash is tender and golden around the edges.
- After the chicken is done, whisk the yogurt and the egg yolk and season. Add ¾ cup of the reserved cooking liquid and cook for 12-15 minutes over low heat, stirring constantly until lightly thickened. Do not boil. Stir in the squash, chicken, peanut butter, spinach and garbanzo beans.
- Meanwhile, bring 1½ cups of the cooking liquid and the quinoa to a boil in a small saucepan. Cover and simmer over low until tender, about 15 minutes.
- Serve the stew over the quinoa with a sprinkling of fresh mint.