My favorite moments with Octavian are when we are snuggled up together on the couch, under a blanket, keeping warm because it is effing cold in California right now. He is the sweetest, most innocent, most beautiful child in the world.
Oh wait, I should also mention that he's SLEEPING!
Yes, he is all of these things when he is sleeping. I mean, just look at this adorable little angel...
Who wouldn't want to spend time with this kid I made?
I'll tell you who...
Anyone who even looks at a toy he wants to play with now, in an hour, or next week. Cross this sweet angelic child and you'll get knocked to the ground, bit on the back, flipped over and then bit on the hand.
I swear, I have no idea where he even learns this kind of stuff!
Thankfully his preschool didn't send him packing right then and there (because that's what I would have done), but obviously they can't have a kid running around thinking it's cool to bite other kids. I say cool because I KNOW he knows biting is not acceptable, so I'm pretty sure that's why he does it.
Just like last night when he grabbed the bottle of sprinkles and as he was running away from me opened it up and dumped it all over the floor. Or, yesterday (same day), took his water and slowly started to pour it all over the kitchen island onto his food. Of course, he was just out of reach so I couldn't grab the cup and when I said NO he just smiled. And, as we were baking cookies, he couldn't help but grab each ball of dough I would place on the cookie sheet and smash it onto the counter. Yes, I gave him his own dough. No, it wasn't good enough. And then there's the refrigerator water dispenser, don't even get me started- it was like a flood.
Yep, my kid is an ass hole.
No, it is not my fault.
Yes, I still think he is the best kid in the whole world.
End rant. PHEW. Wow, I feel a lot better now.
Ok, so we've got chicken, mushrooms, butternut squash and a delicious creamy gravy. Packed full of delicious veggies like mushrooms (ok, those are actually a fungi, not a plant, but, same difference), onion and butternut squash, this stew is super yummy and delicious served over mashed potatoes, rice or yes, even cauliflower rice.
Despite the words stew and gravy, this delicious wintery dinner is actually quite healthy. I swapped out cream for whole milk and didn't feel like I was missing out on any of the creamy goodness that make heavier stews so good. However, if cream is you're thing, do it!
Annnnd, on that note- is it 5 o'clock yet?
Chicken Stew with Mushrooms and Butternut Squash
Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 4-6 servings
Type: Stew, Chicken, Main Dish, Dinner, Easy
4 thinly sliced boneless skinless chicken breast halves
salt + pepper
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup flour, divided
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped into cubes
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 (10 ounce) bags crimini mushrooms, sliced (approximately 4-6 cups depending on how much you like mushrooms)
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 cup whole milk (or 1/2 cup half and half or cream)
2 tablespoons chopped parsley + more for serving
Sprinkle the chicken with salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and dried thyme. Place the chicken in a large ziplock bag and drizzle with approximately 1 tablespoon olive oil. Mix chicken thoroughly to evenly coat with oil and sprinkle with 2-3 tablespoons all-purpose flour. Seal the bag and toss around the chicken breasts until each are completely coated with flour. Set aside.
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Melt 1-2 tablespoons butter and carefully add chicken breast fillets in a single layer. Cook for approximately 2-3 minutes, without moving, or until lightly browned on the bottom. Gently turn each fillet over and cook the over side for 2-3 minutes or until bottom is lightly browned. Remove to a plate and set aside.
To the same pot melt 1 more tablespoon of butter or olive oil. Add chopped butternut squash and stir to coat. Cook for approximately 5 minutes, or until squash just starts to soften. Stir in chopped onion and cook for approximately 2 minutes or until just starting to turn translucent. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and stir in the minced garlic and sliced mushrooms (the mushrooms will shrink, don't worry). Continue to cook the onion and mushroom until the mushrooms have dropped their water and the onions have softened, stirring often, approximately 3-5 minutes.
Add chicken back to the pot, carefully nestling among the vegetables and gently sir in the vegetable or chicken broth. Bring liquid to a low boil and cook, uncovered for 1-2 minutes. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, gently stirring to prevent burning.
Ladle a few tablespoons of broth into a bowl. Slowly add 3-4 tablespoons of milk, cream or half-and-half and mix. Add in the remaining cream and mix. Slowly pour the bowl of cream into the pot with the chicken and gently mix to evenly distribute the broth and cream. Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley.
Delicious served with fresh bread, wild rice and mashed potatoes.