Slow roasted pumpkin with beer-braised chicken thighs, anise-infused wild grain hazelnut pilaf, tossed with sauteed red onion, earthy mushrooms, garlic, shaved & toasted Brussels sprouts, heirloom carrots, spring onion, & honey crisp apples. Garnished with fresh herbs, Parmesan & coarse seasoning.
Phenomenal fall feast for two. Simplistic in preparation. Gorgeous in presentation. Cheers! -David
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Slow Roasted Pumpkin with Dark Beer-Braised Chicken Thighs and Wild Grain Hazelnut-Apple Pilaf
- 2 2-3 lb pie pumpkins cap cut & seeds/pulp removed
- Pumpkin Rub:
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 knob butter
- 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
- 2 pinches cinnamon
- 2 pinches cayenne pepper
- 1 smidgen nutmeg
- Kosher salt & fresh ground peppercorn to taste
- Dark Beer-braised Chicken Thighs:
- 8 boneless & skinless chicken thighs trimmed
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- Kosher salt & fresh ground peppercorn
- 1 bottle dark beer Founder's Porter used in this recipe
- Wild Grain Pilaf:
- 1 cup wild grain brown rice
- 3 pods star anise
- 16 oz Brussels sprouts finely shaved
- 1 red onion finely sliced
- 4-6 cloves garlic minced
- 2 cups portabello mushrooms roughly chopped
- 1 cup of sweet corn kernels
- 2-3 heirloom carrots shaved
- 2-3 stalks spring onion chopped
- 1 large honey crisp apple finely chopped
- 1 cup Parmesan shredded or shaved, plus additional for garnish
- 1 cups salted hazelnuts dry roasted and chopped
- Fresh leaves of basil thyme & rosemary, chopped
- Pumpkin & Pumpkin Rub: Pre-heat grill to medium, approximately 350F. Meanwhile, prepare pumpkin by carving cap & scooping out seeds/pulp. Mix together spices with oil, then rub onto cut brim & interior of pumpkin. Place pumpkins & caps (separated) on indirect heat grill grates, close the lid & bake until caramelized & nearing fork tender, basting intermittently, approximately 45-60 minutes. Remove and set aside, preparing to stuff with chicken & pilaf.
- Braise chicken: While pumpkin slowly grilling, season chicken thighs with salt and pepper. In shallow roasting pan over stovetop high heat, warm oil and brown chicken. Once exterior is browned, pour 1 bottle of beer in bottom of pan. Place in oven for 30-45 minutes at 350F. Flip & rotate chicken intermittently. Remove chicken from oven when fork tender, liquid absorbed & evaporated. Discard remaining liquid. Set aside.
- Prepare the ingredients for the Wild Grain Hazelnut Pilaf: Toss star anise in boiling pot of water. Toss in rice & prepare to al dente. Approximately 25 minutes. Remove anise pods. Set aside. Sauté Brussels sprouts, red onion & garlic over medium-high heat until onion translucent & garlic just fragrant, 5-7 minutes. Toss in mushroom & simmer uncovered for additional 15 minutes. Remove from heat when mushrooms tender, water from mushrooms released & cooked off. Drain & set aside. Toss hazelnuts in canola oil & season with salt. Toss in oven for 12-15 minutes, until just golden brown. Set aside to cool.
- Stuff the Pumpkin: Toss together all prepared ingredients - chicken thighs (meat pulled from the bones), rice & sautéd veggies, carrots, spring onion, apples, Parmesan, & 3/4 of dry roasted nuts. Fill pumpkin with pilaf to the brim. Place roasted caps back over stuffed pumpkins & cook for additional 20 minutes over the indirect heat grill grates, with the lid closed. Remove from grill, allow to rest for 5 minutes, fluff rice with fork, season additionally to taste, garnish & serve.
1-burner grill – Turn the grill to high, then leverage the warming shelf, lined with tin foil, removing the meat from direct contact with the grill grates.
2-burner grill – Turn right side of the grill to high & leave the left side off.
3-burner grill – Turn far right side of the grill to high, the middle to low-medium and the left side off.
4-burner grill – Turn far right side of grill to high, middle right to medium, middle left to low, & leave the far left zone off.
2-Zone Grilling Surface on Charcoal:
Ignite the charcoal in a chimney starter. When coals are glowing red, dump coals onto the grill floor. Rake coals, pushing ⅔ to one side of the grill, slanting the remaining coals to the opposite side of the grill, establishing high-piled 1 hot zone & 1 cooler zone. For every hour of cooking, add a half-stack of coals.