When Chris and I lived in LA, we swore there was Fall. Yes, we may have been swimming in sweat and yes, we may have been abusing our window unit air conditioner but we pretended. We visited a pumpkin patch off of Sunset Blvd that had huge (fake) pumpkins you could stand in. I remember eating a midnight snack at Fred 62, who festively placed a pumpkin sign on top of the restaurant. Eating fish tacos and an ice cold margarita only days before Halloween isn’t exactly the way to celebrate the season for a Marylander. So the Fallish recipes began in our very small kitchen. Roasted pumpkin with rosemary and slow cooked short ribs braised in a deep, red wine sauce were only a few I became mildly obsessed with. I do remember a pumpkin ice cream pie in there somewhere, too. Can I just say something? As much as California rocks, I never want to miss a Maryland Fall ever…ever.
This! This is Fall all rolled up into a cute squash package. Mustard maple chicken stuffed squash. Need I say more? I was first introduced to delicata squash last year. I heard you don’t have to peel its skin and actually, after it has been cooked, you can eat it! Sounds like an easy dinner to me! This delightful squash is stuffed with a chicken, mushroom (sorry if you hate ’em!), and leek mixture that is doused with a mustard maple sauce. Serving everything in a squash shell makes a great presentation. I am totally tempted to make just the filling and eat it as is, but the squash really makes it feel like a meal and extra Fall-like.
Let’s meet our ingredient line up!
From Top Left to Right: Delicata squash (nice to meet you!), walnuts, chicken, maple syrup (this is not Aunt Jemima’s time to shine), leeks, a mustard combo of ground mustard and Dijon, breadcrumbs, fresh thyme, red wine vinegar, and mushrooms (sorry I’m not sorry).
The leeks and mushrooms are sauteed before added to the mixture. Almost everything is thrown into a bowl. I made my mustard sauce first then added it in. I like to taste for seasoning and make sure I don’t need more mustard or maple syrup.
Our precious squash is cooked first then filled with the stuffing. It’s mustardy, sweet, crunchy, herby, yummy? I got carried away with the y’s. Look at those colors. Don’t you just wanna?
Just top those pretty thangs with parmesan and breadcrumbs. Use a couple of thyme stems for garnish if you like. I need this…again. It’s so simple and stunning to throw together, this could even grace your Thanksgiving table. Maybe just take out the chicken and add more veggies (chicken on turkey action? no thanks!). Happy squash making! ‘Tis the season!