Southwestern Chicken and Sweet Potato Stew in a Pumpkin

3 T. olive oil
1 large sweet onion (Walla Walla, Mayan, etc), peeled and chopped
1 red bell pepper, cored and chopped
1 orange bell pepper, cored and chopped
1½ lbs. boneless and skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1” dice
1 lb. (4 links) of andouille sausage or other sausage of choice (chicken with sun dried tomatoes, turkey sausage, or even smoked kielbasa will do the trick!)
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. cumin powder
1 tsp. chili powder
4 oz. can chopped green chilies
15 oz. can garbanzo (or pinto, kidney, black, or great northern) beans, with liquid
15 oz. can chopped tomatoes with liquid + 15 oz. can of water
3 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1” pieces
1 tsp. kosher salt
12” pumpkin, top removed and seeded (or use decorative ceramic autumn/Halloween themed serving bowl)
1 bunch fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 cup sour cream
2 cups Shredded Cheddar, Monterey Jack, or Colby cheese

In a large saucepan or stockpot, heat oil. Add onions and peppers, cook for 2-3 minutes on medium heat until softened. Add chicken, sausages, and garlic. Stir, cook on medium for 5-8 minutes until chicken is browned lightly on the outside. Add cumin powder, chili powder, chopped green chilies, beans, tomatoes, sweet potatoes and salt.

Cover; simmer on low heat for 20-30 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender, stirring gently on occasion. Taste for seasoning.

Place stew in carved out pumpkin, cover top with foil and place on baking sheet. Keep warm in 200 degree oven until ready to serve. (No longer than 2 hours.)

Serve with garnishes of cilantro, sour cream, and cheese in separate bowls for guests to help themselves. Serves 6-8.

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