Chicken with Calabaza Squash (Calabaza con Pollo)

Pollo Calabaza isn't exclusively a mexican recipe, it is made throughout latin america; but it is a widely known dish in Mexico. This dish is served usually in fall when the calabaza squash is abundantly available; it is often made as a special meal for Halloween.

Recipe for Mexican Style Calabaza con Pollo:

Ingredients for 6 people:

* 1 Calabaza Squash (diameter about 10 inches)
* 8 chicken thighs, skin removed
* 2 red chiles
* 1 lb. bacon, cut in strips
* 2 leeks
* 1 clove garlic
* 3 tablespoons flour
* 3 tablespoons olive oil
* 2 cups liquid chicken stock
* 1 cinnamon stick (whole, not in powder)
* 1 bay leaf
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
* salt and pepper


1. Cut off the top of the pumpkin with a sharp knife and we keep it as it will be used as the lid. Remove the seeds from the calabaza (which you can wash and reserve to make roasted pumpkin seeds, which are delicious) and then scoop out all the flesh of the squash carefully to avoid breaking the outer skin. Leave a thickness of at least half an inch in the squash walls, try not to make any cuts through the skin; if you do you won't be able to use it for presentation.

2. Cut the squash flesh we have scooped out, in cubes.

3. Heat up the oil in a wide skillet or saucepan and fry the chicken thighs until golden; once cooked it will be easy to debone them. Take away from the heat.

4. Wash and chop the leeks, chiles, garlic and add these to the bacon in the pan. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the flour and cook for another minute. Pour the broth and raise heat, enough to make it boil. Add chicken, diced squash, the whole cinnamon stick and bay leaf, salt and pepper and mix well. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes

5. Preheat the oven to 250˚F. Pour the stew in the emptied calabaza carefully. If there is a lot of broth, put first the chicken pieces and vegetables and then raise the heat to reduce slightly. Close the pumpkin with the top we had cut earlier.

6. Grease up a baking sheet with oil, and place the stuffed squash over it. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes;

7. Remove, fish out the cinnamon stick and the bay leaf if you can find it; add the fresh parsley, stir and serve straight from the calabaza squash at the middle of the table, for a stylish presentation...

a hot pepper