A Warm, Comforting Dinner

This recipe is quite possibly my favorite dinner dish I have ever made. Crazy, right? The recipe idea came from the Willams-Sonoma Weeknight Fresh and Fast cookbook I bought a couple of weeks ago. I also bought their new Slow Cooker book…more on that later.

This cookbook is great because it highlights each season with in-season ingredients, which usually ends up making the ingredients cheaper and more fresh than out-of-season veggies.

This recipe is Chicken with Squash, Turnips and Shiitakes. YUM!

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I substituted a few ingredients based on what was available at my grocery store and the dish turned out great. Don’t be afraid to make changes to a recipe! For example, this recipe called for turnip greens from the turnips used in the dish. Guess what? The turnips at my store didn’t have greens on them, so I subbed for peppery arugula. I also subbed chicken breasts for chicken thighs to lighten up the dish. Feel free to also use shiitake mushrooms in place of creminis, that’s what the original recipe called for. I also added some apple cider vinegar to the dish to deglaze the pan of the delicious brown bits, along with a little cinnamon to kick up the warm, comforting flavors.

Also, take some help from the produce section when you can with precut squash. Trader Joe’s has amazingly provided its shoppers with peeled and cubed butternut squash. AMAZING. If you have ever peeled and cut butternut squash, you know it’s a pain in the butt. Thanks, TJ’s, for making my life easier one more time!

Serve this dish over rice, whole wheat egg noodles or your favorite pasta.

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Chicken with Squash, Turnips and Creminis
(Serves 6)

2 large chicken breasts, diced into 1″ cubes
1 large yellow onion, chopped
8-10 fresh sage leaves, minced
1 lb butternut squash, peeled and cubed into 1/2″ pieces
3 medium turnips, cut into 1/2″ pieces
8 oz. cremini mushrooms (or shiitakes), chopped
1 1/2 c. low-sodium chicken broth
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp. flour
2 big handfuls of arugula
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Drizzle a large frying pan with about a tablespoon of olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add your diced chicken and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until no pink remains and the chicken begins to brown.

Add onions, sage, squash, mushrooms and turnips sprinkle with salt and pepper. Saute until just beginning to brown and veggies start to become tender.

Pour in your apple cider vinegar and scrape the bottom of the pan to get up all the browned bits. Sprinkle the flour over the top of all your ingredients, as evenly as possible. Stir to coat.

Add chicken broth and simmer until the sauce thickens and the veggies are fork tender. Add cinnamon. If you want more sauce, add in some more chicken broth and allow it to thicken up again.

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Remove from heat and dump in the arugula. Allow it to wilt down and carefully stir to incorporate (your pan is probably pretty full!).

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Pour each serving over rice or noodles.

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