Chicken Stew with Shallots, Cider, and Butternut Squash

Last weekend, I flew home for the first round of the NFL NFC play-off games. I’m a huge Redskins fan. HUGE! My dad has season tickets and I generally buy a seat so I can go to every home game with my dad. Football – it’s our thing, it’s what we do. And, even though we didn’t win, I still had a great time. I got to hang out with my dad and, hey, we’re NFC East champs and we swept Dallas! Woot!

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The only downside to my whirlwind play-off weekend was the amount of time I spent in an airport. Unfortunately, especially in the south, it’s difficult to find healthy food choices in the airport. Follow that up with a busy week and a small amount of time for grocery shopping, and this runner is jonesing for some healthy food. Got my grocery-shop on yesterday and I am totally ready to eat well and tackle the week. Tonight’s menu? Chicken stew with shallots, cider, and butternut squash. Yum! Thank you, Cooking Light!

Now, the recipe calls for some fermented dry cider. You’ll find this is the beer sectios of your grocery or liquor store. It’s basically drunk apple cider. πŸ™‚ But, if you can’t find it or would prefer non-alcoholic,Β  you can certainly substitute non-alcoholic sparkling dry cider.

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Lightly spiced with curry, this stew is comfort food at its finest.Β  The recipe suggestion is to serve with steamed rice and a green salad. I, however, opted for a baguette (I. Love. Bread.) and some steamed green beans. Do whatever makes you happy! πŸ™‚
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Chicken Stew with Shallots,Β  Cider, and Butternut Squash
Serves 6

4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 cup sliced shallots (about 6 medium)
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/3 cup all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 ounces)
1 1/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs,Β  cut into bite-sized pieces
3/4 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
2 cups fermented dry cider
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth, divided
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup water
2 cups cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1 pound)
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
Chopped fresh parsley (optional)

1. Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add shallots; saute 5 minutes or until tender and golden brown. Add curry powder; saute 1 minute. Spoon shallot mixture into a large bowl.
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2. Place 1/3 cup flour in a shallow bowl or pie plate. Dredge chicken in flour, shaking off excess. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add half of chicken mixture; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Cook 6 minutes, browning on all sides. Add browned chicken to shallots. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken mixture, 1/4 teaspoon sslt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
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3. Add cider to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.
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Combine 1 cup broth and 1 tablespoon flour, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Add broth mixture, remaining broth, and water; bring to a boil. Stir in chicken mixture, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cover, reduce hest, and simmer 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
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4. Stir in squash. Simmer, uncovered, 55 minutes or until chicken and squash are very tender and sauce thickens.
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Spoon about 1 cup stew into a bowl and sprinkle each serving with 2 teaspoons almonds and parsley, if desired.

Calories 328 (27% from fat); fat 9.7g (sat 1.8g, mono 4.9g, poly 2g); Protein 35.8g, Carb 24.4g; Fiber 2.9g; Chol 111mg; Iron 3.1mg; Sodium 628mg; Calc 85mg

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