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Author Notes: We have tired this with Chicken, pheasant breasts and Cornish Game Hens. The "original recipe" is from the "Paleo Diet Cookbook". The picture is of Cornish Game Hens each in "their own pumpkin". —jdcooker
Makes variable amounts
- 1 whole chicken or other fowl
- 1 pumpkin big enough to hold the bird
- 1 large leek
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 heaping teaspoons herbs Provence
- some garlic cloves, we use 6
- some butter, oil, fat as needed
- some chicken or vegitable stock, if needed
- 1 ALL METAL (no plastic or rubber parts) fry pan big enough to hold the pumpkin (we use one of our cast iron pans)
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
- wash outside of pumpkin. Cut out the top but be sure to make the opening large enough to get the chicken or other foul into the pumpkin and BE SURE to slope the cut so the "lid" seats into the hole. Clean out the seeds (the center of a canning jar lid works GREAT for this, use 2 lids together if they start to bend). Save the seeds and prepare them later for eating if you like them.
- Remove neck and giblets, wash bird inside and out then tie the ends of the legs together. This helps getting the bird out of the pumpkin once cooked.
- Pepper the outside of the bird, add any fat from the bird to some olive or other cooking oil/fat, then brown as much skin as you can in the frying pan you selected earlier to cook the pumpkin/bird in.
- Cut open the bell pepper and remove the seeds. Cut the leek in half length wise and wash out any grit or fine sand that is often in between the leaves, under running water. Be sure you do this well or you could have gritty vegetables later. Dice up both vegetables to desired size.
- Clean the garlic and dice it up as you like.
- Toss the prepared leek and bell pepper into the fry pan used to brown the fowl, adding more oil if/as needed. saute for about 4 minutes. Then add the herbs Provence, salt and pepper to taste, the garlic and just before it is finished, add 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg.
- Pour the cooked vegetables over the chicken or other fowl that is in the pumpkin.
- If the pumpkin has been off the vine for a number of weeks or if it seemed "dry" when you were cleaning it, you may want to add some chicken or vegetable stock at this point, one or 2 cups, but use your good thinking as to whether it is needed. Freshly harvested pumpkins have a LOT more liquid than a pumpkin that was harvested some time ago.
- Put on the pumpkin top and cover the stem with tin foil so it doesn't catch fire. You can oil the top of the pumpkin if you want, we sometimes do it and sometimes do not - it is up to you.
- Pre heat oven to 325 deg F then put in the fry pan with the pumpkin in it and the bird in the pumpkin and cook for about 2 hours and 45 minutes.
- To serve, take the pan and all to the table and listen to the ooohs and aaahs, the pumpkin in the fry pan!!!! Remove the lid, ladle out the "soup" into a bowl, as needed, then get a hold of the chicken or other fowl, and remove the bird to a platter. Finish removing the "soup. Remove some of the pumpkin flesh (without the skin) and place in a soup bowl, add some chicken or other fowl meat to the top of the pumpkin and, lastly, ladle some of the soup over it all and serve. make a "bowl" for each person.
- Any left over meat can be used for GREAT sandwiches, and what ever uneaten pumpkin flesh is left over can be blended with any extra "soup" and/or vegetables to make a terrific pumpkin soup.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Leeks