So I may have been in a bit of a “gourmet” mood with this one, but stick with me. While this may look very chefs table in its presentation, it is an insanely simple meal that would easily impress dinner guests with its luxurious appearance.
In terms of the experience of eating it, the flavours work together brilliantly. The sourness of the lime that is so effective at permeating the meat screams out for the creamy sweetness of the butternut squash and coconut. By cooking the chicken on the bone, skin-on, you impart so much more juicy flavour than the pallid skinless chicken breasts typically sold at supermarkets. Moreover, the textures are sublime. The purée is pure orange velvet with the subtle crisp of the chicken skin.
The bed of spinach and peas come very recommended. As the chicken juices drip down into it is absorbs all of that gorgeous meaty flavour. But, of course, other vegetables would be just as welcome.
Basically – make this.
For the chicken
- Whole Chicken Legs
- Fresh Limes
- Salt and Pepper
- Chili flakes
For the Butternut Squash Purée
- Whole Butternut Squash
- Coconut Milk (a single tin will go a long way)
- Salt and Pepper
- Place your chicken legs in a bowl with the juice of several limes. Enough that at least the underside of the chicken legs are submerged. Leave them for at least half an hour, but preferably overnight.
- Preheat your oven to 200C. Cut the butternut squash in half length-ways and drizzle with oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for about an hour until soft.
- Around 15 minutes into the cooking of the squash place the chicken in a roasting dish with a hefty sprinkling of salt, pepper and chili flakes. The latter is, of course, to taste, but it works remarkably well with the lime.
- When the squash is totally soft, so that a knife can be entered into it without any resistance, remove it from the oven and scoop out the flesh (discarding the core with the seeds) into a blender/food processor. I prefer the blender as I think it makes it more smooth. Add a couple of spoonfuls of coconut milk – the flavour shouldn’t be strong, you want the squash to be the dominant influence – and blend until smooth. Adding some drippings from the chicken can add a special kick.
- Serve with your chosen accompaniments!
If you want to present the purée all fancy it couldn’t be easier. Simply spoon a dollop onto the place and then quickly drag the spoon through it in your chosen direction. Of course, there are many other ways to plate a purée and here are just a few.