You may never have heard of squash seed broth, but you need to start making it immediately. Roasted spaghetti squash seeds are blended with chicken drippings and braised onions to make a silky sauce that serves as the base of this plate. Topped with spaghetti squash, braised chicken, pecans and muscadine grapes, this dish from Steven Satterfield screams fall.
The key to this recipe is timing and multitasking. While the squash is in the oven, get the chicken ready. Then while the chicken is resting, purée the seed stock and finish the spaghetti squash, and you’ll have dinner ready in no time.
To learn more, read “Seeding Frenzy.”
Braised Chicken with Spaghetti Squash and Seed Broth
Recipe adapted from Steven Satterfield, Miller Union, Atlanta, GA
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus resting time
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes, plus resting time
1 medium (2 pounds) spaghetti squash, halved
1 cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil
One 3½-to-4-pound chicken, cut into 4 pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 garlic cloves, halved
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 bay leaves
1 thyme sprig
1 sage sprig, plus fried leaves for garnish
1½ cups white wine
1½ cups chicken stock
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup toasted pecans, for garnish
½ cup muscadine or red grapes, quartered and seeded, for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 325º and line 2 baking sheets with Silpats or parchment paper. Scoop out the seeds and pulp from the squash, and spread in an even layer on one of the baking sheets. Place the 2 squash halves, cut-sides down, on the other baking sheet and pour the water around them.
2. Place both trays in the oven and cook until the squash is tender but not mushy and the seeds are crisp, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let both trays cool. Once cool, use a fork to scrape all of the flesh from the squash skins and set aside, discarding the skins.
3. In a 12-inch cast-iron skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Season the chicken pieces liberally with salt and pepper, and place skin-sides down in the pan. Cook slowly until the skin is golden and crisp, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer the chicken to a plate, skin-sides up.
4. Add the garlic, onions and shallots to the skillet. Top with the bay leaves, thyme and sage. Pour in the wine and chicken stock, then arrange the chicken in the pan to fit. Place on the bottom rack of the oven and cook, uncovered, until the chicken reads 165º on an instant-read thermometer, 25 to 30 minutes.
5. Remove the skillet from the oven and transfer the chicken to a cutting board and tent with foil to rest for 10 minutes before carving. Meanwhile, discard the herbs and bay leaves, and pour the liquid and vegetables into a blender with the squash seeds. Purée until smooth, then season with salt and pepper. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a small saucepan and keep warm.
6. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the reserved squash and 1 cup of the seed stock, and cook, stirring often, until the squash is warmed through and tender, 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
7. Spoon ¼ cup of the seed stock on the bottom of a shallow bowl. Place a scoop of the spaghetti squash in the center and top with a piece of the braised chicken. Garnish with pecans, grapes and fried sage leaves, then serve.