Saturday, December 17, 2011

How to Enjoy Squash - Part II

Squash of almost all varieties is ridiculously cheap at the market these days, so I figured it was high time to share one of my favorite recipe discoveries from this fall.  I don't have a name for it yet, other than "that yummy squash and chicken baked dish".  It is inspired by this recipe over at Crepes of Wrath.  Every time I make it, I think it is a bit different, but so far I haven't had any bad reviews :).

I'm making it this weekend to help feed a crowd, so you might find this comes just in time for the holiday season.  It's a nice alternative to the traditional dishes.  Plus it's all vegetables that are easy to find in the early winter.  Enjoy!

Total time (approx.): not sure.. 2 hrs?  It bakes for about an hour.
 Ingredients (all approximate):
Chicken: I use about 1/2 lb chicken breast pieces, but more meat would work, and of different cuts.
3 carrots
1 butternut squash
1 onion
3 small potatoes (optional)
1/2 - 1 green pepper (optional)
2 T olive oil
1 t paprika (optional)
1/2 t  ground black pepper
pinch rosemary
herbes de provence
3-5 cloves garlic
2-3 Tbsp butter
1 c. chicken stock.

Here's how you make it:

Cut up carrots, squash, onion, potatoes, and pepper into bite-sized pieces.

Toss with olive oil, paprika, black pepper, rosemary, 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. herbes-de-provence. Place in a greased 9x13 (or similar size) baking dish.

Preheat oven to 350.

Cut up chicken into large pieces and mix with a generous amount of pressed (or minced) garlic (3-4 cloves), 1 tsp herbes-de-provence.  Heat up butter in a pan on medium heat.  Sear the chicken mixture by turning up the heat a bit and quickly cooking just the outside of the chicken.  Be sure to include all the garlic and spices!

Nestle the chicken in with the vegetables.  In this picture, I made the chicken pieces a bit smaller than usual.  I would recommend larger pieces of chicken, but that is your preference.

Now pour the chicken stock into the pan you just used, so that it mixes with all that buttery garlicy goodness.  When I do it, I pour in 1 cup of boiling water, add 1 tsp of concentrated chicken stock, and whisk it together.  Heat to boiling.  Pour over the vegetables and chicken in the casserole dish.

Squeeze 1/2 a lemon over the whole thing.

Cover with tin foil and bake in oven at 350 for 50 minutes.

Uncover and bake another 15-20 min, or until vegetables look done.  (Can you easily poke them with a knife?)  Don't be afraid to leave some of the vegetables on top a bit firmer, because the ones underneath are probably soft.

Enjoy with friends!  (This also makes fabulous leftovers, since it is basically a full meal contained in one dish.)  More recipes to come soon!

Omit chicken if you want a side dish.
I think the first time I made it, I didn't use the paprika.  That was good too.

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