When I first looked at April’s Milk Calendar recipe for Weeknight Chicken Quinoa Stew, I have to admit that I was a little bit sceptical. When I think of stew, my mom’s beef stew comes to mind. It’s a favourite at my house and it shows up on our menu quite often. I have a bit of a “don’t mess with a good thing” mentality when it comes to recipes so I wasn’t sure that this fresh take on stew using chicken and quinoa would really do it for me. Was I in for a surprise!

True to its word, it only took me 30 minutes to make the stew once the veggies were chopped. Since the first few steps of the recipe go pretty quickly, my recommendation is to pre-chop and measure out all of your ingredients. The nice thing about this dish is that it needs to simmer for 20 minutes and only has to be stirred once during that time. This gave me the freedom to multitask without worrying about ruining dinner! The final steps of the recipe also went by quickly, making this a stress-free meal. Another bonus? I used only one pot so clean up was minimal.

When my husband walked in the door he told me that it smelled really good in the kitchen; a positive sign. As we sat down to eat, the stew looked appetizing, but I still wasn’t sure how it would taste. After a few bites I was smiling because despite my uncertainty, I really liked it! The chicken was tender, the variety of vegetables was great and the texture was creamy. My husband gave it a thumbs up (minus the tomatoes) as well. This recipe now has the word “yum” written on it with a note to try subbing red peppers for the tomatoes next time.

Have you ever tried a recipe that surprised you in a good way? Let us know in the comments section.