This recipe by Diana Henry, from her new book From the Oven to the Table, will make a comforting meal after a bracing walk or a quiet afternoon reading the papers
IMAGE: LAURA EDWARDS
If the butter is an effort too far, leave it out, it’s still a good dish. This is also lovely with a generous handful of grated Parmesan or pecorino cheese sprinkled on top 15 minutes before the end of the cooking time. You don’t have to use only chicken thighs, you can use a mixture of thighs and drumsticks, if you prefer.
Chicken with Wild Mushrooms, Pumpkin, Rice and Sage Butter
For the chicken and rice
- 15 g (.oz) dried wild mushrooms
- 500 ml (18fl oz) chicken stock
- 170 g (6oz) basmati rice
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 125 g (4oz) chestnut mushrooms, trimmed and thickly sliced
- 8 good-sized skin-on bone-in chicken thighs, excess skin neatly trimmed
- 345 g (12oz) pumpkin or butternut squash, deseeded and chopped into big chuncks or wedges (prepared weight)
- a little extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
For the sage butter
- 75 g (2oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 6 sage leaves, finely chopped
- 1 small garlic clove, finely grated
- Preheat the over to 190°C fan (400°F), Gas Mark 6.
- Soak the wild mushrooms in 75ml (2½fl oz) just-boiled water for 15 minutes.
- To make the sage butter, mash the butter with the sage and garlic and set it aside (I only chill this if I’m going to keep it for a while).
- Drain the wild mushrooms, adding their soaking liquid to the chicken stock. Wash the rice in a sieve under the cold tap, until the water runs clear, to remove the excess starch.
- Put the onion and both the chestnut and dried mushrooms into a 30cm (12in) sauté pan or shallow casserole (the width is very important) and sprinkle on the rice (it may not look like much, but it expands, don’t worry). Put the chicken thighs, skin side up, and the pumpkin on top. Sprinkle a little olive oil over the vegetables and chicken and season well. Bring the stock mixture to the boil, then carefully pour it around the chicken thighs.
- Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, by which time the chicken will be lovely and golden and the stock will have been absorbed. Put knobs of the sage butter over the chicken thighs, allow it to melt, then serve.
From the Oven to the Table: Simple dishes that look after themselves by Diana Henry is published by Mitchell Beazley, £25.00
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