Thursday, 1 November 2012

Pumpkin - it's almost good enough to eat!

If you didn't get round to carving your pumpkins yesterday - cook them. 

Chicken stew cooked and served in a pumpkin

Chicken in a Pumpkin

(Stolen, with thanks, from Josceline Dimbleby)

You will need:
A large pumpkin, top cut off and seeds and gunk removed, leaving firm orange flesh
A 3 inch piece of root ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
8 cardamom pods
1-2 fresh green chillies
8 skinless chicken breasts
4oz butter
20 oz onions, thinly sliced
6-8 cloves garlic, crushed
4oz button mushrooms, halved
2oz plain flour
3/4 pint milk

Heat oven to gas 9/240 degrees. Extract the seeds from the cardamom pods and grind them in a pestle and mortar. Chop the chilli/es and cut the chicken into 1cm slices. Melt 3/4 of the butter and cook the onions in it until soft. Add the ginger, cardamom, chillies and garlic and remaining butter. When the butter has melted stir in the sliced chicken and mushrooms. Stir in the flour well and gradually add the milk, continuing to stir until it comes to the boil (don't overdo the milk - it should be thick). Season. Spoon it into the prepared pumpkin, put the top back on, and smear with vegetable oil. Cook for 30 minutes, then lower the heat to gas 4/180 degrees and cook for about another 75 minutes. To serve, scoop out some of the pumpkin flesh with the chicken.

This will amaze, delight and impress your friends, and will win over the staunchest of pumpkin-haters!

Pumpkin flesh, seeds and lid

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