Here is a cozy stew certain to warm you after a day of pumpkin-picking. Or after a day of spending $5 a pop for a corn maze, hay ride, pumpkin cannon, inflatable bouncer, pony rides, or kid-size tractors.
Or after a day watching other people pay $5 a pop for those things, and then deciding to get your pumpkins in front of the grocery store.
--1 pound lean ground turkey or chicken (I used chicken)
--1 yellow onion, chopped
--3 chopped garlic cloves
--1 can kidney beans, rinsed
--1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
--3 red potatoes, peeled and chopped
--1 acorn squash, peeled and chopped
--1 whole can tomatoes and chilies (rotel)
--4 cups chicken broth
--1/4 tsp cloves
--1/4 tsp all spice
--salt and pepper to taste
Use a big crockpot for this stew. I used a 6.5 quart eLume.
Guess what? I didn't brown the meat. If you are using extra lean ground turkey or chicken, there really isn't a need--the only worry about using beef or pork is the fat content. If you prefer those types of meat, or already have it on hand, brown on the stove top and drain before adding to the stew.
I used my mom's microwaving-the-squash trick for cutting the acorn squash, and it worked. It worked so well, I'm not scared to buy squash anymore. I microwaved it on high for 2 minutes. It sizzled and freaked me out, but it cut easily, and I used a paring knife to cut away the skin.
Peel and chop all of the vegetables, and add it to the crockpot. Break up the ground meat with your fingers and add it in. Dump in the kidney beans and the can of tomatoes and chilies. Add the broth and the seasonings. Stir well. It will look like there isn't enough liquid, but more will be made from the vegetables and meat. I promise.
Cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours. I cooked ours on low for exactly 8. It was perfect.
My parents and brother ate this with us (well, the kids had toquitos), and we (the grown-ups) all liked it a lot, and had 2 bowls each.
Well, maybe my brother had only one bowl because he was going out to eat.
Anyhow, it was good.
Adam suggests next time using stew meat instead of the ground meat for a more-filling meal. He was pretty hungry a few hours later.