Thursday, October 4, 2012

Crockpot Chicken & Butternut Squash Stew

To me, fall always means winter squash, stews and using my crockpot.  This recipe combines all three.  I really love a classic beef roast, but wanted to lighten things up a bit by using chicken.  I use both light and dark meat here as I wanted to get a more full-bodied flavor from the meat.  I also really liked the undertones of the white wine in this dish.  I could taste it in the chicken especially.  If you’re out of wine, just use an additional cup of broth.  I remember when I first heard the phrase “herbs de provence”, I was very intimidated.  I think the fancy name scared me off for the first few years I was cooking, but one day I picked up the little glass jar at the market and actually read the ingredients label.  It was just a mixture of dried herbs that you can find in the area of Provence.  No big deal at all.  In fact, the combinations of thyme, rosemary, basil, marjoram, sage, fennel and lavender sounded divine and I knew I’d found a new friend in the kitchen.  In this dish the spice provides a light herbaceousness to the thick tomatoey gravy that hits the tongue just right.  The best part about this stew is that there’s no precooking!  I love that.  Just chop it and toss it in the pot.  When I made it, I prepped all the veggies and meat the night before and stored it in Ziploc bags in the fridge.  In the morning I just dumped it all in, mixed and pressed go.  Simple as that.

What You Need:

1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into chunks
1 boneless skinless chicken breast with tender, cut into chunks
½ large butternut squash (or 1 small), peeled & cut into chunks
1 medium brown onion, diced
2 large carrots, cut into 1 inch segments
2 large stalks celery (green parts only), diced
3-6 cloves garlic, minced (to taste, I used 6)
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 cup dry white wine (or additional cup of broth)
6 oz can tomato paste
1 Tbs herbs de Provence
1 bay leaf (fresh or dried)
½ tsp salt
¼ - ½ tsp pepper (to taste)

For later:
2 Tbs butter (I used unsalted)
2 Tbs flour (I used whole wheat)

What To Do:

Combine all ingredients except flour and butter in a large crockpot for 6 hours on the low setting.  It will seem like there's not enough liquid, but as the vegetables cook they will release liquid making a thick, gravy like sauce.  Don't add water or broth!  If using high setting, cut cook time in half, but I highly recommend slow cooking this. 

After 5 hours of cooking, melt butter and combine with flour.  Add the mixture to the stew and stir to combine. 

Makes about 8 - 1 heaping cup servings.

Print this recipe!

Nutritional Stats for 1 serving.

Bon Appetit!


Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

I need to start using my crock pot more often - this looks hearty and comforting and perfect on for a cold day after work.

What's Cookin' with Mary? said...

@ Jolene: Several weeks ago I decided I wanted to use my crockpot once a week. It's been so nice to be able to come home and have the house smelling like wonderfully slow cooked goodness. Plus, I'll always have lots of leftovers to eat throughout the week or freeze.

Pam said...

It looks thick, hearty, and flavorful. Total comfort food!

What's Cookin' with Mary? said...

@ Pam: It was! And I agree, total comfort food, but not too shabby for the waistline.

Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies said...

Yes! Fall means the same things to me. :D I love breaking out my crockpot as soon as it starts getting chilly out. This looks like the perfect fall dinner!

What's Cookin' with Mary? said...

@ Kiersten: It so is. So yummy and healthy to boot. Still haven't tried freezing it as it gets eaten so fast!

Savory Simple said...

This stew sounds fabulous.

What's Cookin' with Mary? said...

@ Kiersten: Thank you! We really love this dish around these parts. So much flavor and so so easy.