Roasted Pumpkin Stuffed with Saffron Chicken in Cream Sauce and Cream Cheese

Abóbora Recheada com Molho de  Frango de  Açafrão e Queijo Cremoso”

 

I really love this recipe, it is great to share with everyone in the fall, when pumpkins are in season in the USA.

It is very easy to make, and it is very delicious.  I have experimented with many types of pumpkins to find the closest one to a Brazilian pumpkin called “moranga”, and I like to use a Pumpkin called “butter cup”, but the recipe is absolutely delicious with any cooking pumpkin.

In the original recipe a Brazilian  creamy cheese called “Catupiry” is used,  but it is very difficult  to find here, so I have been using cream cheese instead. Although cream cheese does not have the unique taste of  catupiry, it gives you a good idea of what this dish is like.

Saffron is an expensive spice, so this dish can be made with turmeric.

Ingredients:

  1. 1 medium to large size cooking pumpkin
  2.  4 chicken breasts cut into small pieces
  3.  1 cup chicken broth
  4.  1/2 cup white or rosé wine of your liking
  5.  1 shallot chopped
  6.  2  garlic cloves chopped
  7.  4 cups heavy cream
  8.  1 package cream cheese cut into small pieces
  9.  1 lemon
  10.  1 tea spoon saffron or tumeric
  11.  a dash of nutmeg
  12.  salt and pepper
  13.  olive oil
  14.  2 table spoons butter
  15.  fresh parsleys chopped

Directions:

  1.  Heat oven to 400F.
  2.  Draw a circle around the top of the pumpkin and cut a lid. Remove the seeds. Drizzle inside the pumpkin: olive oil, salt, and pepper. Wrap the pumpkin with aluminun foil, leaving the opening uncovered. Place in a baking sheet and bake for 50 minutes or until soft inside. You can bake the cut lid as well to use the flash in the filling or as a lid.
  3.  While pumpkin is roasting, season chicken with lemon juice, salt, pepper and set aside. Sautée shallots and garlic in butter and drizzle olive oil. Add chicken and stir. When chicken is browning, add wine, broth and saffron/ turmeric; cover and let it cook until liquid reduces a little. Add heavy cream, nut meg, salt, and pepper to taste, if necessary. Bring sauce to a boil and remove from heat, set aside.
  4.  When pumpkin is ready, remove from oven ( leave oven on) and scoop approximarely a cup of the cooked pumpkin from shell and smash it with a fork. Arrange a layer of cream cheese pieces inside the bottom of the shell. Spread half of the smahed pumpkin on top, pour half of the chicken in cream sauce in the shell. Add the rest of the smashed pumpkin and pour the rest of the chicken with sauce, (If there is too much sauce to fit in the shell, save the extra sauce in a nice bowl to be added to the shell later to refill). Arrange the rest of the cream cheese pieces on top and place it back in the oven for another 30 minutes. Then broil for 4 minutes to get a crispy top. Garnish with fresh parseleys.
  5. Serve hot over white rice or by itself with a side salad.

Enjoy and Happy fall!

 

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French Casserole

French, Food, Cooking, Casserole, French Casserole

Here it is!

 

This recipe is a family favorite and very popular among Brazilians specially at family Sunday meals when extended family gathers to share a big lunch. It is easy to prepare, simple and elegant.  A wonderful dish for every occasion.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Chicken breasts
  • 1 lemon
  •  1 Cup chicken broth
  • 1 Package of Farfalle pasta
  • 3 Table spoons butter
  • 4 Cups of milk
  • 2 Table spoons of corn starch
  • 1 Pint of crème fraiche* or heavy cream
  • 1/2 Tea spoon of nutmeg
  • 2 Tea spoons of herbs de Provence
  • 3/4 Cup shredded Asiago cheese
  • 1 Cup shredded Gruyère cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a frying pan, brown chicken breasts with olive oil and 1 tbsp. of butter, season with salt and pepper and squeeze lemon juice. Add chicken broth, cover and let it cook over medium heat until fully cooked. If liquid dries, add more broth or water.
  3.  Meanwhile, cook pasta according  to package directions. Scoop pasta with a skimmer into a large rectangular glass or ceramic dish. Set aside.
  4.  When chicken is cooked, pull it apart into several shredded pieces and add to pasta. Drizzle with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  5. Dissolve corn starch in milk, mix in nutmeg and herbs de Provence. Melt 2 tbsp. butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add milk mixture, salt and pepper and bring to a boil stirring constantly until slightly thickened. Add cream and bring to a boil again stirring constantly until bubbly. Turn off heat and stir in gruyère cheese until melted.
  6. Pour cream over pasta and chicken. Cover all with Asiago cheese. Sprinkle some herbs de Provence over it and drizzle with olive oil. Cover with aluminum paper and bake for 30 minutes. Let it stand for 5 minutes before serving.

 

Serve with a Caesar salad or your favorite salad and Bon Apetite!

* Crème fraiche is easily found in the gourmet cheese area of many grocery stores.