Simple Chicken and Butternut Squash Chili

I didn’t take pictures of the process, but this was yummy, so here we go.

Ingredients:

  • Butternut squash (only about half of one)
  • 1 32 oz carton of Chicken stock
  • 1 15 oz can of Kidney beans, pinto beans, or your favorite beans (not green beans)
  • 0.5 lbs Chicken, chopped, cooked
  • 8 oz can of tomato sauce
  • Salt, pepper, chili powder, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, onion powder

Note – amounts are approximate. Mix the ratios of your beans, squash, and meat to get the balance you want.

Instructions:

  1. Skin and chop your butternut squash. Only chop as much as you need to balance the other ingredients. Half a small one will be fine. Keep the chunks large because they’ll disintegrate into the sauce as it simmers.
  2. In a medium sized pot, boil the butternut squash in the chicken stock. You don’t necessarily need the whole carton for this. Err on the side of less and add more if needed. (This can be done with water or water and bullion cubes. If using water, add salt.) Sprinkle in some red pepper flakes and salt. Boil for 7-10 minutes until the squash is fork tender.
  3. While this is happening, cook the chicken. If you’re using leftover, already cooked chicken (or turkey), yay! You’re done. You can cook in a pan if you like it browned. I prefer to poach, as it keeps the chicken softer. To do this, chop your chicken, put it in a microwave safe bowl, and cover with water. Cook for 3 minutes or until white floaty residue comes to the top of the water. Drain and set aside.
  4. Also while the boiling is going on, open your cans, drain your beans. You can mix and match beans. I happen to like kidney beans.
  5. Once the squash is soft, add the chicken and beans. Is there too much liquid? If yes, pour some out and set it aside. (Don’t dump it. You may change your mind and want to add it in again later.)
  6. Add the can of tomato sauce and the assorted spices. Note: the onion powder adds a little sweetness without adding actual onions. (I hate onions.) The cayenne pepper adds a lot of kick, so use sparingly, and test as you go. Both of these, I’d call optional.
  7. Cover and simmer for probably at least 10 minutes so the flavors can mix. Taste occasionally to see if you got the spices right. If it gets too thick as it simmers, add more chicken stock. If it’s too thin and you want to thicken it up, dip a ladle in and set that liquid aside in a bowl. Add 1 tsp of corn starch for every 1/4 cup of liquid you were able to extract and whisk it together. It should get slightly thicker. Return the thickened liquid to the pot. The cornstarch will help the rest thicken. (It blends better w/ liquid alone, hence removing it first.)
  8. ENJOY!

    IMG_7388
    Chicken and butternut squash chili

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