Hearty Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash and Quinoa

Turns out, constant inconsistency can make rats a little schizophrenic.  

Ok. Well.  I just oversimplified like years and years of psychological research but that's pretty much the gist of it.  

The MS Delta's constantly inconsistent weather is one of the reasons that i believe everyone around here is (a little) nuts.  

It's hot.  It's cold.  Turn on the air, no turn on the heat.  Wear a jacket with a tank underneath it.  Layer, layer, layer.  

In an effort to cope with all of this inconsistent weather, I'm saying to heck with it and just making soup.  BUT I'm adding in quinoa, a summer staple, to account for the random heat waves.  

Done and done.  

Speaking of schizophrenia, the preparation of this meal could cause it.  Lots of bowls and setting aside and timers.  But don't let it get you down.  Accept the fact that your kitchen will be a mess when you finish and jut move on. 

But, whatever you do, don't leave out the kalamata olives.  They kind of make it.   
Hearty Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash and Quinoa
adapted from Cookin Canuck

1 1/2 lb butternut squash; peeled, seeded and chopped
3 1/2 cups of chicken broth
1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 tbl olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1/2 tsp kosher salt
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 can of diced tomatoes
2/3 cup of uncooked quinoa
3 oz of kalamata olives, chopped
pepper, to taste

Steam butternut squash for about 10 minutes.  Remove half of it and continue steaming the remaining squash for about 6 minutes or until it is very tender.  Remove and mash.  Set aside. 

In a large sauce pan over medium high heat, bring the chicken broth to a simmer.  Add the chicken thighs, cover and cook until chicken is cooked through (about 15 minutes).  Transfer the chicken to a plate to let cool and pour the broth into a bowl.  Set aside.  

Return the pan to the stove top and lower the heat to medium.  Add olive oil and onion and cook until onion starts to brown, about 8 minutes.  Add garlic and oregano; cook for about a minute.

Add the tomatoes, butternut squash, mashed butternut squash, stir to combine.  

Stir in reserved chicken broth and quinoa.  Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the quinoa is done, about 15 minutes.  

Shred the chicken and stir it into the soup.  Add in the olives and the black pepper.  Simmer uncovered for about 5 minutes. 

Serving size 1 cup (makes 6)
Points plus 8 

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