Seared Chicken with Roasted Honeynut Squash & Garlic Rice

Seared Chicken

with Roasted Honeynut Squash & Garlic Rice

40 MIN
2 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

In Mexican cuisine, “pipian,” or green mole, is a favored topping for any number of poultry dishes. The sauce starts with a base of toasted, crushed pepitas (or pumpkin seeds) to which herbs and chiles are traditionally added. Tonight’s recipe takes inspiration from the classic: we’re making our own variation on the sauce with pepitas, cilantro and more, and invoking its characteristic heat with the zesty spice rub for our chicken. We’re pairing these dynamic flavors with an aromatic garlic rice tossed with roasted honeynut squash, a particularly sweet—and petite—variety of butternut.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    800 Cals (est.)
fresh
ingredients
time-saving
tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Preheat the oven to 475°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut off and discard the squash ends. Using a knife, carefully peel the squash; halve lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop out and discard the pulp and seeds; medium dice the squash. Peel and mince the garlic. Using a peeler, remove the green rind of the lime, avoiding the white pith; mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of zest (or use a zester). Quarter the lime. Finely chop the cilantro leaves and stems.

Roast the squash:
2 Roast the squash:

Place the squash on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; toss to thoroughly coat. Arrange in a single, even layer and roast 20 to 22 minutes, or until browned and tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven.

Cook the rice:
3 Cook the rice:

While the squash roasts, in a medium pot, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until lightly browned and fragrant. Add the rice, a big pinch of salt and 1 cup of water. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook 12 to 14 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Stir in the lime zest. Set aside in a warm place.

Toast & chop the pepitas:
4 Toast & chop the pepitas:

While the rice cooks, in a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the pepitas and toast, stirring frequently, 3 to 5 minutes, or until golden brown. (Be careful, as the pepitas may pop as they toast.) Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and immediately season with salt and pepper. When cool enough to handle, transfer to a cutting board and finely chop. Wipe out the pan.

Cook the chicken:
5 Cook the chicken:

While the rice continues to cook, pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season on both sides with salt, pepper and as much of the spice blend as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. In the same pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken and cook 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through. Remove from heat.

Make the sauce & plate your dish:
6 Make the sauce & plate your dish:

While the chicken cooks, in a bowl, combine the chopped pepitas, cilantro, honey, the juice of all 4 lime wedges and a drizzle of olive oil; season with salt and pepper to taste. To the pot of cooked rice, add the roasted squash. Stir to thoroughly combine; season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the finished rice and cooked chicken between 2 dishes. Top the chicken with a few spoonfuls of the sauce. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

1 Prepare the ingredients:

Preheat the oven to 475°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut off and discard the squash ends. Using a knife, carefully peel the squash; halve lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop out and discard the pulp and seeds; medium dice the squash. Peel and mince the garlic. Using a peeler, remove the green rind of the lime, avoiding the white pith; mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of zest (or use a zester). Quarter the lime. Finely chop the cilantro leaves and stems.

2 Roast the squash:

Place the squash on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; toss to thoroughly coat. Arrange in a single, even layer and roast 20 to 22 minutes, or until browned and tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven.

Roast the squash:
Cook the rice:
3 Cook the rice:

While the squash roasts, in a medium pot, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until lightly browned and fragrant. Add the rice, a big pinch of salt and 1 cup of water. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook 12 to 14 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Stir in the lime zest. Set aside in a warm place.

4 Toast & chop the pepitas:

While the rice cooks, in a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the pepitas and toast, stirring frequently, 3 to 5 minutes, or until golden brown. (Be careful, as the pepitas may pop as they toast.) Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and immediately season with salt and pepper. When cool enough to handle, transfer to a cutting board and finely chop. Wipe out the pan.

Toast & chop the pepitas:
Cook the chicken:
5 Cook the chicken:

While the rice continues to cook, pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season on both sides with salt, pepper and as much of the spice blend as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. In the same pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken and cook 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through. Remove from heat.

6 Make the sauce & plate your dish:

While the chicken cooks, in a bowl, combine the chopped pepitas, cilantro, honey, the juice of all 4 lime wedges and a drizzle of olive oil; season with salt and pepper to taste. To the pot of cooked rice, add the roasted squash. Stir to thoroughly combine; season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the finished rice and cooked chicken between 2 dishes. Top the chicken with a few spoonfuls of the sauce. Enjoy!

Make the sauce & plate your dish:
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