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Hot as heck in the best possible way, this easy-to-prepare stew is rounded out with lots of flavor from browned chicken and the underappreciated chayote gourd.
What to buy: Chayote is a gourd common to Caribbean cuisine, and it goes by many aliases: chocho, mirliton, christophene, vegetable pear. Females have smooth skin, while males have prickly skin; either will work in this recipe, though the female fruit is easier to prepare. Look for chayotes that are firm and free from blemishes.
Game plan: We made this stew very spicy by using an habanero pepper. If you want to tame it down a bit, you can use less habanero or substitute the milder jalapeño.
Like all stews, this improves in flavor as it sits, so it’s a great dish to make ahead.