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Pumpkin (or Squash) and Chicken One-Pan Bake

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Chicken and Pumpkin

This time of year, the shops are groaning under the weight of bright orange Crown Prince pumpkins, some so large they could feed a family well into November. Most, however, are destined to be disembowelled and sadly cast aside once the Hallowe’en festivities are done with.

Often overshadowed by their brassy pumpkin cousins are the subtler squashes which can be found sitting politely on the shelf waiting to offer a range of tasty dishes with little preparation. Perfect comfort food for the newly crepuscular evenings.

This is a one-pan supper so once everything is prepared (which can be done in advance and left in the fridge) has everything you need when you come in starving on a darkening evening. Use the innards from your Jack-O’Lantern, or try Acorn, Harlequin or even Butternut Squash.

Pumpkin (or Squash) and Chicken One-Pan Bake

Serves 4

1 Pumpkin or Squash, about 1kg in all
8 quality chicken drumsticks
2 large red onions
2 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
1 tbsp fennel seeds
2 tsp ground cumin
2 sprigs rosemary
1 whole head garlic
1 lemon

  • Scrub the pumpkin/squash, but don’t worry about peeling. Using a good knife, and taking great care, cut into wedges, a couple of inches thick at the widest. Scoop out the seeds and discard, or dry and use later.
  • Peel the red onions, then slice vertically into quarters, then eighths.
  • Detach the leaves from the woody stems of the rosemary sprigs and chop roughly
  • Put the chicken drumsticks, onions and pumpkin/squash into a large kitchen/freezer bag with the oil and the herbs and spices.
  • Seal the top of the bag and shake so that everything gets covered in the flavoured oil. This will keep in the fridge overnight, if required.
  • When ready to cook, heat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/Gas 6, and empty the chicken and squash into a deep baking tin. Try to have space to spread out well, use two baking tins if necessary.
  • Take the whole head of garlic and slice through horizontally, so the individual cloves are exposed. Add both halves to the baking tin.
  • Half the lemon and squeeze the juice evenly over the pan.
  • Bake for about an hour, then check the chicken is perfectly cooked through before serving.
  • Squeeze the roasted garlic from its papery casing over the chicken and vegetables.

 

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