|Chicken, Butternut and Pasta Stew
2 pounds chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 TBS olive oil
1 onion, diced (about 2 cups)
1 ½ TBS flour
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 bay leaf
1 TBS tomato paste
½ cup red wine
1 pound butternut squash, cut into chunks
1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes, drained
½ cup orange juice
1 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 ½ cups uncooked elbow or other small pasta
1 bag (1 pound) spinach leaves
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
½ cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
In large frypan with lid or stockpot, warm olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. While onion is cooking, place chicken pieces in colander over sink, sprinkle with flour and toss to coat.
Add chicken to the pan and brown, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Add thyme, oregano, basil, bay leaf and tomato paste; cook one minute, stirring constantly. Raise heat to high, add wine and scrape up brown bits from the bottom of the pan, cooking another minute.
Add squash, tomatoes, orange juice and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook until squash is beginning to soften, about 7 – 9 minutes. Add pasta, stir, cover and simmer an additional 10 minutes.
Add spinach a handful at a time and continue to simmer another 3 – 4 minutes, until greens are beginning to wilt and stew is cooked through thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper and stir well.
To serve, ladle into soup bowls and top with sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. Makes 6 servings.