My fall harvest stew is loaded with butternut squash, parsnips, onions, apples, potatoes, chicken, and fresh cider. It’s absolute perfection paired on a crisp fall day with some apple cheddar muffins!
Fall has always been my favourite season. I’ve never been a sun worshiper, the heat just ain’t my thing. In the fall though, when the air’s crisp and I can wander around outside for hours in a shirt and jeans, that’s when I’m in my happy place. It’s also when I get the itch to start hitting up the local farms we’re surrounded by.
When I don’t get to a farm though, I’m lucky enough to live in the heart of farm country, and our grocery stores start loading up on all the local produce. Right now the shelves and bins are bursting with potatoes, onions, carrots, beets, parsnips, squash, and apples. It’s like heaven walking in there and seeing it all every Friday.
So, what’s in my fall harvest stew?
My fall harvest stew is a combination of my favourites. It’s bursting with butternut squash, parsnips, onions, apples, potatoes, and fresh pressed cider. You know what it doesn’t have though? Any heavy cream, but you’d never guess it. The apple cider and potatoes helps to thicken it up naturally, leaving you with an incredibly creamy tasting stew, without any actual cream.
Let’s recap shall we?
Healthy? Check. Buying local? Check. Delicious? Check.
Yep, we’re all good here folks!
But wait – there’s more!<— I’ve always wanted to quote an infomercial!
Apple cheddar muffins are a must make, who knew!
You can’t have a stew without some fresh bread to go with it! I had all those apples lying around, and some cheddar biscuits were the logical idea because everyone loves them. Maybe, I don’t know, but just maybe, I should pare them together. My Papa always does…
I know, apple and cheddar may not be your first choice, it wasn’t mine either (I explain all that in the post). But I’ll be damned if they weren’t delicious. Make sure you grab my apple cheddar muffin recipe too before you make my fall harvest stew!
Ok, back to my fall harvest stew!
This is such an easy dinner to make. It takes about an hour start to finish, but half of that time is completely hands off as it simmers. This is easily something you can make mid-week. I find that crazy children are more apt to leave me alone in the kitchen when I’m holding a big knife cutting up veg. Wink wink. Unless they think they can eat whatever I’m chopping straight away.
One other note – make sure you buy cider that is unswetened and unfiltered. I whoopsied on the sweetened cider and man was this sweet the first time I made it! The unfiltered cider is what helps thicken the stew. If you can’t find that, just add a bit more flour to the meat, or make a slurry from some cornstarch and water. Add it in a little bit at a time at the end of cooking until it’s thick enough.
Enough gabbing, I know, here’s your recipe. Enjoy!
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1" pieces
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh sage
- 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and 3/4" cubed
- 1 cup (2 large) parsnips, peeled and 3/4" cubed
- 1 1/2 cups russet potatoes (about 3), peeled and 3/4" cubed
- 3 tbsp flour
- 1 cup unfiltered apple cider (not sweet apple cider)
- 2 cups low sodium chicken stock
- 2 large granny smith apples, peeled and chopped into 3/4" pieces
- Salt and Pepper as required
- Heat a large dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat. Add one tablespoon of oil to the pan. Season the chicken with some salt and pepper, then add half of it to the hot pot. Cook for about 5 minutes, until browned. Remove the chicken to a plate with a slotted spoon, and repeat with the second half.
- Reduce the heat to medium. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan, along with the onion, sage, and ginger. Cook just until the onion starts to soften, about 1 minute.
- Add the squash, parsnips, and potatoes, cooking for about 3 minutes, and stirring occasionally.
- Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Add the apple cider and chicken stock to the pan, and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Add the chicken, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper. Give it a good stir, bring it up to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer.
- Cover and let simmer for 25 minutes. Stir in the apples, then cover and cook for five more minutes before serving. Season with more salt and pepper if needed.
If the stew seems too runny, make a slurry with 1 tbsp cornstarch and just enough cold water to make it runny. Slowly pour a little bit into the stew and stir vigorously. A little goes a long way here!
If the stew seems too thick, you can just add a little bit of water, or some more chicken stock.
It reheats well the next day.
This recipe has been adapted from Cooking Light’s Carb Conscious Cookbook August 2017.