Thursday, October 8, 2009

Week 17: An Ode to the Mother Hubbard

: Caribbean Chicken Stew

hubbard in ovenAs much as we joke about Swiss chard around here, the real story of last year's CSA season was winter squash. We received 22 of them from mid-September through mid-October, including two Blue Hubbards that together weighed about 24 pounds. (That's the 9-pounder in the photo.) We ate squash roasted with herbs and stewed with spices. Cubed and curried. And when we couldn't keep up any longer by eating them fresh, we made squash puree that we could freeze. You can get two cups of puree from a 1-pound squash, so by the time we broke into our second Hubbard (in early November; these things can be kept for a while), we were swimming in squash.

Thus began our squash distribution project. Defrosted puree became squash bread, squash muffins, squash butter, spiced squash at Thanksgiving, and squash latkes at Chanukah. If you were a guest in my home anytime from last November through this past June, you were served something with squash in it. If I was a guest in your home, I brought along something with squash in it.

I bring this up because here we are, a day away from the end of the 2009 season, and I have received only two winter squash (both butternut). It's safe to say there is no way I'm going to get 22 squash from the CSA this year, and that makes me a little sad, even if I'm also a little relieved. So I salute thee, Hubbards of yore, and think: Maybe next season.

Aside from the squash, we received a full CSA bag this week: apples (baked); corn (boiled); plum tomatoes (sandwiches); eggplant (Parmesan); and green beans (marinated). Last week's butternut was cubed, tossed with a little olive oil, and roasted. This week's butternut was cubed and tossed with chicken and spices for a quick stew.

chicken stewCaribbean Chicken Stew
(adapted from USA Weekend recipe)

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp nutmeg
1 red chili pepper, seeds removed and sliced
1 bay leaf
1 can (14.4 ounces) diced tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth or water
3 cups cooked, shredded chicken
2 cups butternut squash, cubed (half a squash)
1 can black beans (15.5 ounces), drained and rinsed

In a large pot, heat oil. Add onion, green pepper, garlic and saute 3 minutes. Add spices and saute 3 minutes longer. Add tomatoes, broth or water, chicken, squash, and beans. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer, covered, 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with couscous or rice.


  1. I like the idea of winter squash latkes. I have a bounty of pumpkins this year and that sounds like a great idea to use up some of my excess puree.

  2. Yup, I think it's all interchangeable. And the puree should keep a long time in the freezer. Of course, nothing else will fit in there ...