Butternut Squash, Kale and Chicken Stew

Oct 4th

A strange week to be posting my first fall stew, what with each day’s temperature topping out at over eighty degrees. Don’t care, too excited. So good.

With two bunches of kale from the Grower’s market just crying out to be used, as well as a butternut squash I’d been all but using as a doorstop in my efforts to avoid chopping, stew sounded just right. Using a rotisserie chicken cut my processing time in half (when will they start roasting organic chickens for us?) and though I peeled and chopped the squash myself, I recommend you purchase the already prepped squash so you can avoid the dull knife and elbow pain that I was left with. All in all this stew is quick enough for a weeknight!

My husband dug into a big bowl with post-practice vigor (for as hungry as he comes home you’d think he was playing, not coaching) and gave it a rave review. He asks, can you make this again soon? See, the problem with having a blog is that I almost never make things twice as I’m always trying something new. He knows better than to actually complain but I assured him that yes, I’d be making this again for sure. Eating a giant bowl of warm, nothing-but-healthy, low-calorie dinner is my goal most nights.

A final word – my recent America’s Test kitchen tested chicken broths and the most economical buy was “Better Than Boillion”, which is liquidy-gel type stuff that is sold in a small glass jar. The price per cup of most chicken broth is about $1.16, whereas the price per cup of the bouillion is just $.16. It also takes up WAY less space in my pantry since I’m not hoarding boxes of broth. Oh, I know Ina says to make it yourself but that’s just over my line.

Butternut Squash, Kale and Chicken Stew

Serves 6-8

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 yellow onions, diced

6 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 tsp. kosher salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed (about 8 c.)

2 c. water*

2 tsp. better than boullion*

1 bunch kale, stemmed and chopped

2 tsp. rubbed sage

1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

meat from 1 rotisserie chicken (about 3 c.), chopped or shredded

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary (or 1 tsp. dried)

Parmesan cheese, for serving

*Alternately, you could use two cups chicken broth

1. Heat olive oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic. Add salt and pepper. Sauté for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent.

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2. Add butternut squash cubes. Saute for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Add water and bouillon (or broth). Bring mixture to boil and then reduce heat to simmer. Simmer, lid  on, for about 10 minutes or until squash is just tender.

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3. Add kale and stir to combine. Return lid and let cook until kale is wilted.

4. Add beans and chicken, as well as salt and rosemary. Stir gently to combine.

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5. Serve, topped with parmesan cheese (and big hunks of crusty bread!

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A final word – this is the perfect recipe to illustrate the importance of saving herbs when they’re fresh and abundant!

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