LET THE CHICKEN AND THE PUMPKIN PLAY

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts or Thighs 3 cloves of garlic crushed to a paste
  • 2 sausages of your choice. chorizo, chicken or pepperoni would be great.
  • 1 tsp. cracked black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. chicken seasoning (Any brand would do, however I recommend Spice Supreme, Schwartz m Robertson or TRS. Anyone you consider good anything but Knorr chicken please)
  • 1-heaped tsp. chopped coriander and extra for garnish
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp. of vegetable oil
  • 200g/2 cups white button mushrooms sliced
  • 4 cups/500g of spinach washed
  • 1 medium sized pumpkin say 700g to a kilo (you may not need of it though)
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream or full cream milk
  • 1 stick cinnamon size of a your thumb
  • ½ tsp. cumin powder
  • ½ tsp. coriander powder
  • 2 big garlic cloves bashed open
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Ok for the preparation

Step 1

If using breasts butterfly the breast and by butterfly; just slice the chicken length ways but not totally all the way so it opens like a book. If using thighs cut the flesh across the bone and scrape the meat away from the bone and slice off at the connecting tissue Place the chicken in a bowl and place all the seasonings in the bowl and toss altogether. Leave to marinade for 30mins minimum. An hour to overnight would be better.

Step 2

In a hot pan place some butter or oil or both and add the mushrooms. Cook on a medium high heat till most of the moisture has evaporated season with salt and black pepper to taste. Remove and set aside to cool

Step 3

In the same pan as more oil and/or butter to the pan and stir-fry the spinach till its all wilted down squeeze/drain the excess water . Season with salt and pepper as well and set aside to cool.

Step 4

Peel the pumpkin or squash and cut into cubes and place in a pot and cover with water or chicken stock place the garlic, cinnamon stick and seasoning into the pot and boil till soft. To test poke with a knife it should give in easily and come out easily as well. Using a slotted spoon pick the chunks of pumpkin and place in a blender and add the cream little by little so as to get the perfect consistency and it doesn’t get to runny depending on how soft and wet the pumpkin got. You want a texture that’s in between a thick soup and mashed potatoes. Taste and check for seasoning. And keep warm.

Step 5

On your worktop lay some cling film big enough wrap the chicken Lay the chicken flat skin side down open. place some clingfilm on top and bash-flatten with a rolling pin on a heavy bottle. when flattened to an even thickness (especially the top part which is thicker) aplace some mushroom, chopped sausage and spinach in the lower part closer to you. With a firm hand roll up the chicken with the film but be CAREFUL NOT ALLOW THE FILM GET INTO THE CHICKEN. Roll the chicken firmly using the ends like a sweet wrapper, when its in a nice cylinder shape use the film to warp it into a tight kind of sausage tie tightly at both ends and place a pot of simmering water. Poach for 8mins for breasts and 12-15 mins depending on the thickness of the thighs. When done. Take the chicken out and set aside.

Step 6

In a hot pan add some olive or vegetable oil , some bashed garlic and butter if you like and brown the chicken all the way round. Cook for about 3 mins till well browned. Take the meat out leave to rest for about a min and slice into 3 rounds. On a plate put some of the warm pumpkin puree and place the chicken you have sliced on the puree. Sprinkle with some chopped parsley or coriander.

If you are not feeling up to the task of cling film and all this “chefy” risky business here is the other way I promised I would show. Its simpler but packs the same flavour

Step 1

Prepare the chicken as before. But do not butterfly. To make it really easy use ready prepared chicken breast.

Step 2

Prepare the puree, mushroom as before and keep warm.

Step 3

In a hot pan sear the chicken breasts for 2mins per side till well browned with some garlic in the pan to flavour. Place in the oven for another 4-5 mins to finish cooking or just finish on a low heat if you don’t have one. Leave to rest In the same pan stir-fry the spinach so it take on the flavour of the chicken season well with salt and black pepper.

Step 4

Place some of the puree on the plate some mushroom and spinach then arrange the sliced chicken on top or as you like, you may slice into two and arrange or place whole. Sprinkle with herbs and serve.

The Stuffed Version

The beginning of the Grilled Chicken Version

The Simply Grilled Version

I purposely didn’t include a sauce here because I felt the pumpkin was already a good wet and at the same time a somewhat solid accompaniment with the chicken. This is a dish is a good first course or light main course with a salad on the side.

Drink suggestion would be a crisp dry white wine. Maybe a dry Chardonnay or a crisp Sauvignon Blanc. Or just some water with a hint of citrus such as lime or lemon with lots of ice.

So with this you are welcome to my journey….

You may be wondering why skinny chef when the scales tell a different truth. Well Chef Fregz is gonna be skinny one day… but would not lose the passion for making excellent food. That’s al I would say for now.

Bienvenue à nouveau

A Bientot

P:S if you try this recipe please take a picture and mail it totheskinnychefthatcould@gmail.com with your experience making it. I would really love to hear from you. Please give your spin on it and just let me know how you found it. Who knows the best looking dish and possible twist in it may win something *wink* Ciao!

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