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Butternut Squash Quibebe with Chicken and Coconut Milk (Quibebe com Frango e Leite de Coco)

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I was so excited to see the very first few butternut squash of the season showing up at the grocery store! I love all squashes, but the winter ones are my favorites! In Brazil, the varieties that we call winter squashes can be found year round. Every year, I look forward to this season to share some of our delicious recipes. So my first Brazilian recipe of this season will be Quibebe. Don’t be intimidated by the strange name, Quibebe is really easy and quick to make (prep time and cooking time shouldn’t take longer then 25 to 30 minutes). Now, you are thinking: “So what is this”? Ok, Quibebe is a delicious butternut squash stew, usually cooked with some spices and, sometimes, herbs. It is a typical dish from Northeastern Brazil. It is a side dish, but sometimes it is prepared with some kind of meat (very commonly jerk meat) and it becomes a main course. In this recipe, I made a richer version with the addition of chicken breast, coconut milk and fresh herbs. It is to die for! Quibebe is usually served with rice, but you can leave the rice out and make it a Paleo main course. If you are doing it the Paleo way, also remove the dark brown sugar. I hope you try this easy and flavorful Brazilian dish!

Serves 3 to 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch dice
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • ½ tablespoon ginger, peeled and minced
  • ½ table spoons chili pepper paste
  • ½ tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups (one small or ½ large) butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
  • 1 can unsweetened coconut milk (14 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • ½ cup scallions, finely chopped (save about 2 tablespoons for garnishing)

Directions:

In a large skillet, heat coconut oil until shimmering over high heat. Place chicken in a working surface and season with salt and pepper. Add chicken to skillet and sear for about one minute, without stirring. Cook for 2 additional minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken is fully cooked, but still moist inside. Using a skimmer, remove chicken from skillet and set aside.

Reduce heat to medium-high and add onions to the same skillet. Cook until soft and slightly browned, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add ginger, chili pepper and brown sugar and cook, stirring constantly, for an additional minute. Reduce heat to medium and add butternut squash and coconut milk. Bring to a low simmer and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until butternut squash is soft, 10 to 13 minutes. Add chicken and cook for an additional minute.

Remove from heat and fold in parsley and scallions. Season with more salt if needed. Serve immediately over a bed of jasmine rice, garnished with more scallions.

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