I subscribe to a variety of food blogs and recipe aggregation sites which flood my inbox multiple times a day with ideas.
As if I wasn't constantly thinking about food anyway. Even in the shower!
This stew was inspired by one such email, from either DailyRecipe or Better Homes & Gardens I think. The photo in my inbox looked good enough for me to click on the link and investigate further. I pulled the seasoning combo (cumin, cinnamon, chili powder) but turned to the Strategic Winter Squash Reserve in a cold corner of my breakfast nook for the bulk of the stew. I'm also trying to use less meat overall--meat as a condiment not as the Main Event--so I added a can of chick peas to stretch the protein even further. That worked well, and I've used that technique in other dishes.
The seasoning combo (cinnamon, chili powder, and cumin) is billed as Moroccan. I've eaten tasty food prepared by a Moroccan friend, but I cannot say I've really studied Moroccan food, so in good conscience I cannot call this a Moroccan stew. Instead, I'll call it Faux-roccan. Sorry about the cute name. Regardless of the name, however, I found it a tasty change of pace from my standard winter stew. Try it!
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|Ignore the crushed red pepper. I was dithering.|
|Not the proper way to prepare a stew. Oopsie?|
Acorn Squash, Chick Pea and Chicken Faux-roccan Stew1 medium acorn squash, peeled and cubed (not as easy as you'd think)
3 to 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs, cubed
1 can chick peas, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups total finely chopped mix of onions, celery, carrots and bell peppers (I used my freezer stash)
2 Tablespoons tomato paste (freeze the rest in 1 T increments and save in a bag for future use)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon chili powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup golden raisins
freshly ground pepper
Preheat a large skillet over medium heat, and add a turn of oil.
At this point I'd like to tell you to coat the chicken with flour and seasonings, cook it, set it aside, and move on the the vegetables.
But that's not what I did. I just tossed the squash, chicken, chick peas and veggies in, stirred them around to let them get coated with the hot oil, sautéed for about 3 minutes, added the spices, let that go for a couple more minutes, then added the rest of the ingredients--except the pepper. I simmered this mix in the skillet over medium-low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the squash was softened, the chicken was cooked, and a thick sauce had formed. I thought it could use a bit more oomph, so I added some ground pepper.
Then the end fell off my pepper grinder, dumping way too many whole peppercorns into the stew, and I scooped out as many as I could find. It wasn't too peppery but could use more salt, so use my amounts as a starting point and taste and adjust for yourself. Serve over rice or couscous.
This post is linked up with What's Cookin' Wednesday at Buns In My Oven, the Wednesday Fresh Foods Link Up at Gastronomical Sovereignty, Taste and Tell Thursday, What's In The Box at In Her Chucks, the Farm Girl Blog Fest at Let This Mind Be In You and the Creative Homeacre Blog Hop at Self Sufficient Home Acre.
|This was what I scooped out!|