Slow Roasted Pumpkin with Dark Beer-Braised Chicken Thighs and Wild Grain Hazelnut-Apple Pilaf


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

Prep Time1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time2 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 2 Pumpkins
Author: A Bachelor & His Grill


  • 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
  • Garnish:
  • 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.


Two-Zone Cooking Method: Heat only one side of the grill, creating one hot direct heat zone and one cooler indirect heat zone. This technique is imperative to the cooking process.
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.






Written by Live Fire Republic
David Olson is a nationally-recognized American Culinary Federation Chef, television personality and international social media influencer, award-winning recipe developer, live fire grill master, global adventurer-extraordinaire, and the creator behind, "Live Fire Republic." David has an organic and attentive audience of more than two million households weekly via countless television and event appearances, his blog, and various print, radio and social media channels. Meanwhile his recipes and creative content continue to be shared across the web and in print publications from sea to shining sea. For all media inquiries, please email PR agency, The Lisa Ekus Group; Boston, MA - Jaimee Constantine, 413.247.9325 or