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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Apple Butter Chicken and Squash Saute

Like many of my invented recipes, this was inspired by random ingredients I had in the house. In this case, a jar of apple butter and 2 lbs of cubed butternut squash from Costco.

I love apple butter. It has no added sugar* or salt, but is full of flavour. It is pricey, but it also isn't hard to make your own. Aside from topping toast, it can be used for baking, and a component in salad dressings and sauces.

The natural sweetness of this dish makes it very kid-friendly. This turned out even better than I expected and was delicious on quinoa.

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bite sized pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

2 lbs butternut squash, cut into cubes
1 cooking onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp Herbs de Provence (optional)

Sauce
1 cup apple butter
2 heaping tbls dijon mustard
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 cup + apple cider, apple juice or water (optional)

Toss squash and onion with oil and seasonings and roast in oven at 425 F on a bakin sheet for about 25 minutes, or until squash is tender.

Meanwhile, whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce.

Then, brown chicken pieces in frying pan over medium heat, but don't cook through completely. Add garlic, and stir for a minute or two. Deglaze pan with 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar. Turn heat down to medium-low or low heat and add sauce to pan. Simmer until chicken is fully cooked. Stir in additional cider/juice or water if sauce is too thick. Add roasted squash and onion to pan and combine with chicken and sauce.

Serve over quinoa (or brown rice).

*Some companies do add sugar, so always check labels. I like Eden Foods organic apple butter best.