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Chicken with Delicata Squash- The Recipe Redux

Chicken-in-yogurt-sauce-with-delicata-squash

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.

stovetop-chicken-stew-with-yogurt-and-delicata-squash

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.

roast-delicata-squash

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.

Chicken with Delicata Squash- The Recipe Redux
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Serve the stew over the quinoa with a sprinkling of fresh mint.
I have to say, it was worth the labor and all the dirty dishes- it was tangy, savory, bright, rich and altogether warming. Although this dish may not make it into my regular rotation, it may make an appearance when I want to impress!

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