A tasty way to eat any favorite winter squash. Just scrub, halve, and scrape the seeds out of delicata or acorn before chopping; peel butternut, kabocha, red kuri, or hubbard squash first. For deeper flavor, try using the simmered remains of a roast chicken or turkey instead of the chicken breast and broth called for. If you opt for using dry beans, just soak a few hours in plenty of cold water and cook on low until tender. Salt to taste.

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 pound skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into ½-inch chunks
  • 1-3 minced jalapenos (include the ribs and seeds if you like extra heat)
  • 3 cups cubed winter squash (see headnote)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound dry cannellini beans (see headnote), or 2 cans of beans
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1-2 teaspoons New Mexico chile powder or smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • salt and pepper

Optional garnishes:

  • sour cream, minced scallion, cilantro, jalapeno

Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pot on medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook a few minutes, or until soft. Add the garlic and jalapeno and cook for a minute, then add the chicken and squash and continue to cook until the chicken is browned on all sides and the squash begins to soften. Stirring constantly, add the spices and cook until aromas are released.

Wheel-thrown stoneware red bowl made by Wayne Fuerst of Westport, MA. Available at Local Pottery, Norwell MA


Stir in the broth, cover and cook until the squash is fully tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Uncover and stir in the beans. Cook uncovered for another 15 minutes, until the squash just starts to break down, stirring frequently, until chili is thickened slightly.

Serve with optional garnishes, as desired.

Serves 8.

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Katie Callahan is a chef, avid gardener, and writer. She loves the challenge that New England winters present for staying seasonal with cooking and finds joy in using foods put up from the summer garden as well as finding new and inventive ways to use winter produce.