Butternut Squash Stuffed Chicken Breast

Seriously… I think I might need an intervention. I’m addicted to butternut squash. It’s so good. So, so good. My family always makes fun of me for it. I don’t care.

Tonight I needed to do something with the giant package of chicken breast that was sitting in the fridge. It’s not that I don’t like chicken, I just don’t really like cooking it, and I never usually find it that good, so I tend to avoid making it. But my boyfriend is a big fan (I mean it is good, cheap, and easy) so he always insists that we buy the family pack when we’re grocery shopping. There is therefore usually a lot of chicken sitting in my freezer.

So in an effort to not let perfectly good food go unloved, I grabbed the butternut squash from the counter and decided to make something up.

Butternut Squash Stuffed Chicken Breast

Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 large carrot, chopped
  • about 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock (I used vegetable)
  • about 1/2 cup half and half
  • salt, pepper, dried parsley flakes, crushed red pepper

What to do:

  • Clean chicken breast, slice through the center (to make it thin), and pound out with a meat mallet until very thin. Set aside.
  • In a large skillet, heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.
  • Peel and cut squash into small cubes. I find it easiest to do this by cutting the squash in half, removing seeds, cutting into cubes, and then cutting the skin off of each piece. Place squash in skillet.
  • Peel and chop onion, garlic, and carrot. Add to squash.
  • Season mixture with salt, crushed red pepper, and parsley. Cover skillet and cook over medium heat about 20 minutes, until softened. Add about 1/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock and a splash of half and half. Turn heat to high and let cook until most of the liquid is absorbed. (As usual, I didn’t measure the liquids. Just use your judgment. Start with a little bit and that way you can always add more. The liquid should be about half as deep as the squash mixture.)
  • Place mixture in a food processor (or a large bowl and then use an immersion blender) and blend until it is roughly pureed, but there should still be some chunks.
  • Return empty pan to heat, add another tablespoon of olive oil. Turn heat to medium-high.
  • Season chicken breasts with a bit of black pepper. Spread squash mixture onto each piece of chicken with a spoon. Roll the chicken breasts and secure with a toothpick (optional). Place in hot pan (with the seam facing down if you’re not using a toothpick) and let it brown on all sides.
  • When chicken has browned, add about 1 cup stock to pan (again, I didn’t measure, but the stock should almost cover the chicken breasts), season with salt (if desired) and parsley flakes.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover. Let simmer for 20-25 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.
  • Remove chicken from pan and keep warm on a plate (I covered mine with another plate and put in the convection oven on holding mode).
  • There should be a good amount of stock left in the pan. Add 1/4 cup half and half, re-season if desired, and turn to high heat. Let the sauce cook until reduced to about half of the original amount.
  • When the sauce has cooked down, spoon over chicken and serve.

(I was hesitant at first, but I held on tight and iPhone stayed out of the food this time.)