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Roasted Kabocha and Chicken with Chocolate Enchilada Sauce

Kabocha squash is the pebbly dark green one that is shaped like a pumpkin.  Inside is deep orange flash that has a sweet earthy flavor.  HOWEVER any of the beautiful winter squashes will work, butternut, acorn, delicatta...

1 2-pound kabocha squash
2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 ½ teaspoons sea salt, divided
4 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons chili powder, divided
2 teaspoons cumin, divided
2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/2 onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
½  teaspoon cinnamon
1/8+ teaspoon cayenne
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
¼  cup water
3-4 ounces baking chocolate

Optional garnish:
½ cup cojita cheese, grated or crumbled

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.  Begin cutting squash as you would a jack-o-lantern, by sawing a circle around the stem creating a lid.  This is a safety measure.  Once open, slice the squash in half.  Scoop out the pith and seeds.  Then slice the squash halves into 1-1 ½ inch half moon slices.  Place in an 8X8 baking dish.  Place the chicken thighs, meaty side down in a separate 8X8 baking dish.  

Combine 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons seas salt, lime juice, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon cumin and 1 tablespoon of sugar in a small bowl and whisk together.  Pour over squash slices and thighs.  Allow these to marinate for 15-20 minutes.  If longer, be sure to stick the chicken in the refrigerator.  Place both dishes in the oven and bake for until squash can be cut with the side of a fork and chicken reaches close to 165 degrees.  About 45 minutes for the squash and 30-35 for the chicken.

Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in a heavy 4-quart pot.  Add ½ teaspoon salt, onion and garlic and sauté until onions are translucent.  Add remaining chili powder, cumin and sugar along with cinnamon, cayenne, tomato sauce and water.  Stir and let simmer on low for 20 minutes, then turn heat to low, add in chocolate and stir.

To serve, place baked squash slices and one roasted thigh in a bowl or on a plate and pour sauce over all.  Garnish with cojita.  Plate remaining food and sauce the same.

Makes 4 servings
Preparation time: 1 hour, 10 minutes


Jenna Lutz
Looks amazing! And, fortuitously enough, I happen to have everything on hand ready to roll. Thanks for making my dinner planning for tomorrow so easy.
January 4, 2012, 6:38 pm

Kymberlee della Luce
Firstly, this looks delicious and amazing and I can't wait to try it. Secondly, Matt completely cracks me up in this. Cynthia makes a great foil to his craziness. Well-done!
January 5, 2012, 5:29 pm

Samara Zitnik
This is going to be on our table for Sunday dinner. Yum! Secondly, I think Steve should get a kabocha squash tattoo around his naval! (less painful than a vasectomy!)
January 6, 2012, 2:20 pm

Marsha Stroh
Thank you so much for cooking with a winter squash!! I have gotten so much better with winter greens since watching your videos, but I still feel intimidated by winter squashes.
January 8, 2012, 3:36 pm

Jacquelyn Witte
This was delicious and very filling. We found the sauce much too rich and will cut down the chocolate next time.
January 9, 2012, 7:17 pm

Umar Umar
Thanks! I ceookd one in the crock pot this past weekend. I did it a little too long because it seemed a little softer than usual, but it tasted fine.
February 16, 2012, 11:40 pm

Elham S
I'm so looking forward to making this! Would unsweetened cocoa powder also work? Mmmmmmm.
December 6, 2012, 11:21 am

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