Spiced Chicken & Garlic Rice with Pipian Sauce & Roasted Honeynut Squash

Spiced Chicken & Garlic Rice

with Pipian Sauce & Roasted Honeynut Squash

45 MIN
2 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

Pumpkin seeds (also known as pepitas) have been a staple of Mexican cuisine for centuries, often starring in sauces like tonight’s pipian. We’re making ours with toasted pepitas, lime juice, parsley, and honey, then serving it over smoky Mexican-spiced chicken. To pair with our bright centerpiece, we’re tossing fluffy rice with roasted honeynut squash—a miniature variety of butternut known for its exquisite sweetness.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    660 Cals (est.)
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tips & techniques
Prepare & roast the squash:
1 Prepare & roast the squash:

Remove the honey from the refrigerator to bring to room temperature. Place an oven rack in the center of the oven, then preheat to 450°F. Wash and dry the squash; cut off and discard the ends. Carefully peel the squash; quarter lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop out and discard the pulp and seeds. Cut crosswise into ¼-inch-thick pieces. Place on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; toss to thoroughly coat. Arrange in an even layer. Roast 17 to 19 minutes, or until browned and tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven and set aside in a warm place.

Prepare the remaining ingredients:
2 Prepare the remaining ingredients:

While the squash roasts, wash and dry the remaining fresh produce. Peel and roughly chop 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). Halve the lime crosswise. Roughly chop the parsley leaves and stems.

Cook the rice:
3 Cook the rice:

While the squash continues to roast, in a small pot, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until 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. Turn off the heat; fluff the cooked rice with a fork. Stir in the lime zest. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and 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 4 minutes, or until lightly browned and fragrant. (Be careful, as the pepitas may pop as they toast.) Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; immediately season with salt and pepper. When cool enough to handle, transfer to a cutting board and finely chop.

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 the spice blend. In the same pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken and cook 4 to 6 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through. Turn off the 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, honey (kneading the packet before opening), the juice of both lime halves, half the parsley, and a drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the roasted squash to the pot of cooked rice. 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 the sauce. Garnish with the remaining parsley. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

Prepare & roast the squash:
1 Prepare & roast the squash:

Remove the honey from the refrigerator to bring to room temperature. Place an oven rack in the center of the oven, then preheat to 450°F. Wash and dry the squash; cut off and discard the ends. Carefully peel the squash; quarter lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop out and discard the pulp and seeds. Cut crosswise into ¼-inch-thick pieces. Place on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; toss to thoroughly coat. Arrange in an even layer. Roast 17 to 19 minutes, or until browned and tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven and set aside in a warm place.

2 Prepare the remaining ingredients:

While the squash roasts, wash and dry the remaining fresh produce. Peel and roughly chop 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). Halve the lime crosswise. Roughly chop the parsley leaves and stems.

Cook the rice:
3 Cook the rice:

While the squash continues to roast, in a small pot, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until 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. Turn off the heat; fluff the cooked rice with a fork. Stir in the lime zest. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and 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 4 minutes, or until lightly browned and fragrant. (Be careful, as the pepitas may pop as they toast.) Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; immediately season with salt and pepper. When cool enough to handle, transfer to a cutting board and finely chop.

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 the spice blend. In the same pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken and cook 4 to 6 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through. Turn off the heat.

6 Make the sauce & plate your dish:

While the chicken cooks, in a bowl, combine the chopped pepitas, honey (kneading the packet before opening), the juice of both lime halves, half the parsley, and a drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the roasted squash to the pot of cooked rice. 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 the sauce. Garnish with the remaining parsley. Enjoy!

Make the sauce & plate your dish:
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