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Butternut Squash and Chicken Chowder is a wonderful comfort food, especially paired with a nice biscuit or crusty bread.  Squash is plentiful, the weather is cool, and soups are my favorite fall and winter comfort foods.

It’s great fun to experiment with new recipes.  Growing up the standard soups and stews were Chile, vegetable soup, potato soup, bean soup, oyster stew at Christmas (still not a favorite), and an occasional ham and split pea soup.  Now the sky is the limit, trying new combinations and flavors!

Buttternut Squash and Chicken Chowder

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon fresh sage, finely minced
½ pound carrots peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into small bite sized pieces
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Few grinds black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs (or both), all fat removed and cut into bite sized pieces
2 cups onion, diced
1 cup celery diced (I substituted 1 chopped green pepper and 1/2 teaspoon celery seed)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons flour
2 14.5-ounce cans chicken stock
1 pound all purpose potatoes, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
1 14.5-ounce can kernel corn with liquid
¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Few shakes of Tabasco sauce
2 cups half and half cream

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  • Toss one tablespoon of the oil in a small bowl with the sage and carrots and pour out onto a small sheet pan. Roast for ten minutes.
  • Add squash and another tablespoon of oil along with salt and pepper to the small bowl and pour out onto the carrots and flip with a spatula to mix.
  • Roast for ten more minutes.
  • Remove from oven and set aside.
  • While vegetables are roasting, in a large Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil with the butter over medium high heat.
  • Once the fat is hot, add about a third the chicken and cook about five minutes to brown and cook through. Remove to a bowl and cook the another third then finally the last third, adding to the bowl after each batch. Set aside. The chicken should be fully cooked through at this step.
  • Turn the heat to medium and add the onions and celery. Cook, stirring often until the onions are translucent, about five to ten minutes. Add garlic and cook for one more minute.
  • Add flour and cook for two more minutes, stirring often.
  • Add stock and stir with a wooden spoon.
  • Bring to a boil and add potatoes along with roasted vegetables and all pan drippings. Cook for 5-10 minutes until vegetables are tender.
  • Add corn with juice along with Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces.
  • Add cooked chicken with any liquid that collected in the bowl, stir and add all of the half and half cream.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning and bring just to serving temperature.