Wednesday, March 13, 2013

I Just Love A Good Quinoa Recipe

Hello blogosphere!

I hear that once again the Vatican is setting records with Popliness (it's a word, I said so) by electing a non-European pope today. Not only that, but he apparently renamed himself from Jorge (which I think would have been a kick-ass pope name...Pope Jorge...c'mon!)  to Pope Francis I. This apparently also breaks with tradition because there has never before been a Pope Francis in the history of popes. The things you learn.

In other news, I'm gearing up for a trip home to the East Coast to see my family and visit with some friends for an East Coast style bridal shower leaving Geeky Dude home to fend for himself. As I've said before he is a great cook, but sadly when left to his own devices will gladly eat just peanut butter and jelly and cereal to avoid having to cook meals for just himself.

That being said I decided to prep him for a 3-day weekend alone with another big batch of stew so he can feast on leftovers while I dine on lobster :)

This recipe is courtesy of Cookin' Canuck (Adore the name!) and I made some pretty hefty adjustments due to ingredient shortages and my own personal preferences. I'll note them at the bottom of the recipe along with the results.

  • 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.

***Adjustments and Results***  I didn't have a butternut squash handy, so I used some white pumpkins we had lying around begging to be used. In hindsight this wasn't the best choice. I would recommend a squash over a pumpkin (acorn or butternut) as they have a stronger flavor. I also roasted my pumpkin in the oven, another something I wouldn't recommend unless you have copious amounts of time on your hands. Seriously. 

I added a pinch of rosemary and thyme to this as well and omitted the olives as I can't tell you my absolute hatred of all things olive (except, oddly....olive oil, which is amazing)

I ended up adding a bit more liquid towards the end because the quinoa really soaked up a lot and I had reservations about it being quite so thick.

All in all, this is a good base recipe and I would recommend it. It's pretty gosh darn tasty.


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