I love cooking with butternut squash. It’s a good substitute for sweet potatoes and it can be used in a variety of dishes. When I can, I usually buy butternut squash pre-cut because it’s just so difficult to cut a whole squash. I was in Trader Joe’s last week and I saw they had fresh, whole butternut squash – and it was almost $3 less than the pre-cut packages of squash! Cutting a whole butternut squash is so hard, which is why it is one of the few vegetables I buy pre-cut. But after realizing I was paying way too much, I decided I would buy the whole squash and hopefully cut it without cutting myself.
I was talking to my Mom about my struggles and she told me to microwave the squash for a few minutes and it would be soft enough to cut. I was a bit skeptical but gave it a try. I pierced the outside of the squash with a fork and put it in the microwave for three minutes. When it was done “cooking”, I was able to easily peel and dice the squash. It was a miracle! And no fingers were cut in the process!
I recently got a subscription to Southern Living magazine. I was looking through the October issue and a few of the recipes looked really good. Of course, none were free of gluten, dairy, or eggs, so if I was going to attempt to make any of them, major modifications would be needed. There was one stew recipe that caught my eye and after studying it for a few minutes, I decided I could easily substitute a few of the ingredients and make this recipe.
The recipe is fairly simple to make but there are a lot of steps, so it took me about 40 minutes to cook before I could leave it to simmer. The recipe called for the stew to be made in a crock pot, but honestly, I’m not a fan of the crock pot. Besides chili, I haven’t really found a recipe that is flavorful enough to withstand the long cooking time required. Also, by cooking it in a large stockpot or Dutch oven, you don’t have to cook part of the soup on the stove and then transfer it to a crockpot to simmer. The recipe also called for pumpkin but I swapped it for butternut squash…. hence why I was buying it in the first place.
The stew is really thick, so if you want more liquid, add some more chicken broth. Personally, I like thicker soups so it was perfect for me.
Author: Original recipe printed in the October 2018 issue of Southern Living magazine; modified by The Food Allergy Foodie to be free of gluten and dairy (and a few other adjustments)
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: approximately 1-2 hours
4 tablespoons of coconut oil, divided
5-6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (1 package)
3-4 celery stalks, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
5 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/3 cup of gluten-free all-purpose flour
1 (32-oz) container of unsalted chicken stock
1 whole butternut squash, cut into 1-inch cubes – or – 2 (12-oz) packages of pre-cut butternut squash
½ cup of wild rice
1 cup whole-fat coconut milk
Kosher or Sea Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup of coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme, chopped