This recipe for Chicken with Pumpkin, Cream and Gruyère blew me away. As you can see, it’s such a simple recipe and yet I would never have thought to combine chicken and pumpkin, nor to cook the combination so simply in cream flavoured with garlic and grated cheese. Be warned, this is a rich dish, so small portions will be plenty. A crisp vinaigrette-dressed green salad is my perfect accompaniment.
We scaled the recipe down by half, used chicken thighs (which I much prefer to breasts) and butternut squash (as regular pumpkin wasn’t available) and switched the two hard cheeses for close cousins we had on hand. We also decided to cut the thighs into three pieces before frying, rather than after as in the recipe.
Full, original recipe provided below.
Diana Henry’s Chicken with Pumpkin, Cream and Gruyère
- 1 kg pumpkin or butternut squash (unprepared weight)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 8 skinless boneless chicken thighs or breasts
- 400 ml double cream
- 1 clove garlic
- 25 g grated Gruyère
- 25 g grated Parmesan
Preheat the oven to 200 C / 400 F.
Peel and deseed the pumpkin and cut it into wedges. Put the wedges into a roasting tin, brush with olive oil, season and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until completely tender (and even slightly caramelised).
Now put the squash into a gratin or other ovenproof dish, one that is big enough to accommodate the chicken too.
Meanwhile, cook the chicken. Simply season it all over, heat one and a half tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the chicken on both sides until golden and cooked through, eight to ten minutes.
Cut each piece into three. Add the chicken to the pumpkin.
Heat the cream with the garlic until it’s boiling, take off the heat, season and pour over the chicken and pumpkin. Sprinkle on both cheeses and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
The dish should be bubbling and golden. Serve.
You need something to cut the richness so a salad of bitter leaves is good. Children like it with pasta, but I prefer brown rice or another nutty whole grain.
You may also enjoy:
- Nazima’s Roasted Chicken Legs with Za’atar and Pomegranate
- Margot’s Chicken de Volaille in Chestnut Mushroom Sauce
- Sally’s post about talking preserving with Diana Henry
A Bird in the Hand by Diana Henry is available from Amazon for £9.99 (RRP £20). Published by Mitchell Beazley. Kavey Eats received a review copy from the publisher.