Butternut Squash and Chicken Chili from Fresh Salt at Saybrook Inn and Spa. A slightly sweet and smoky chili with a surprising ingredient.
A few weeks ago, Wes and I were invited to spend the weekend at Saybrook Point Inn and Spa. To say that it was just what the doctor ordered is an understatement. We were tired. We were stressed. And we hadn’t spent any time together in ages. The weekend was amazing and we came home recharged and relaxed. It was a perfect winter getaway. I have another post coming on this subject, so I’ll save my thoughts for later. Until then, I’m going to encourage you to do whatever you need to do get away with your significant other. Even if it’s just for a few hours. Your relationship will thank you.
While we were in Old Saybrook, they were having a Chili Fest. Something you should know about me, I LOVE a festival. I’ll go to just about any festival I can. I thought this was one was genius. So much so I even took notes about how it was run because it was a brilliant idea for raising money for charity. All up and down the main street, businesses had booths with their chili and a charity they were working for. Every chili was different. Any kind of chili you could think of was represented. We sampled at least 20 different kinds. Delicious chilis and lots of money raised for local charities. It doesn’t get much better than that.
The Turkey Chili from Fresh Salt was in my top 3. (Coincidentally, we were staying at the hotel that the restaurant is located in. I didn’t even realize where it was from until after I ate it.) It came in 2nd, so I wasn’t the only one that loved this chili. I asked to have the recipe, and they were gracious enough to share it with me. I was surprised to find that it had roasted butternut squash in it. I didn’t even notice when I sampled it, I just really liked it. This chili has a smoky sweet thing going on. I ate this every day for lunch and was really sad when it was gone. (They made theirs with roasted turkey breast, I used chicken instead.)
This was the view from our room. We were staying in the brand new Tall Tales building. (We stayed in the Lady Fenwick Room, it was so beautiful.) We had a porch and we sat outside and watched the sun go down over the water.
We had dinner at Fresh Salt and I need to try to recreate this salad. It was so delicious and I thought about it for days after. I love beets, and no one else in my house does, so it’s a treat to have roasted beets that someone else made.
I ordered the roast chicken for dinner. If roast chicken is on a menu, I’m going to order it. When roast chicken is done well and cooked perfectly, there really isn’t anything better or more comforting. This one fit the bill. It was perfect.
Without question – if you ever stay at Saybrook Inn, you MUST have Sunday brunch. It is the most glorious thing ever. There were so many options that we had to walk around and survey the scene before we could decide where to start. It was incredible and I can’t wait to go back and have it again. (Make a reservation, especially in the season and for holidays.)
I can’t say enough about our experience at Saybrook Inn. They kindly hosted us for the weekend, however all opinions are 100% my own. I would go back in a heartbeat (and hopefully will in the near future) because we had such an amazing experience. The service was incredible. The staff could not have been nicer or more caring. I appreciate the little and thoughtful touches, and there were many over the weekend.
A chicken chili with a smoky and slightly sweet flavor. A secret ingredient – roasted butternut squash.
2 Tablespoons canola or olive oil
1 cup butternut squash, cubed
1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 Tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon cajun seasoning
salt and pepper
1 onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 seeded jalapeño, finely minced
1 poblano pepper, finely minced
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 pound turkey or chicken breast (cooked and shredded)
1 Tablespoon canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 can diced tomato in juice
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup frozen or fresh corn
1 small can black beans rinsed and drained
1 small can white beans rinsed and drained
shredded cheddar cheese
thinly sliced green onions
Preheat oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with foil.
Toss butternut squash with 1 Tablespoon oil, maple syrup, honey, cajun seasoning, salt and pepper. Spread evenly on baking sheet. Roast for 25-30 minutes or until squash is tender.
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 1 Tablespoon oil. Saute onion, red pepper, jalapeño, and poblano peppers until soft, about 5 minutes. Add chili powder and cumin. Cook for an additional minute.
Add roasted butternut squash, cooked chicken, chipotle, brown sugar, canned tomatoes, chicken stock, corn, and beans. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes. Add more stock if needed.
Ladle into bowls and serve with tortilla chips, sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, and green onions.
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