Monday, October 17, 2011

French Chicken Stew in a Pumpkin

This is our annual stew in a pumpkin.  We have been doing this for several years, now ever since I saw the recipe for Pumpkin Stew in Taste of Home . It is so much fun to make, and even more fun to eat. This year my husband wanted to make beef stew and I wanted to make chicken stew, so we had a "meeting of the minds" over this.  He said that he didn't like the chicken stew last time we made it. I told him that we would make it similar to the ingredients that we have in the Chicken Provencal Stoup from Rachael Ray. He still persisted that he wanted beef stew. In the end we made the French Chicken Stew, and he loved it:) The stew had garlic, onions,carrots, red potatoes, ripe sliced olives,mushrooms, white wine, chicken stock, tomatoes, chicken breasts, legs, and thighs, plus the cooked pumpkin. The aromas coming from your kitchen are wonderful.  

First you cook the stew in a Dutch oven on the stove for about 2 hours. When choosing a pumpkin, be sure that the pumpkin with top and stem on, will fit in your oven on the lowest rack, very important.  One year I bought a pumpkin that was too big for the oven, and we had to run out an buy a smaller one. Then, after you clean out a pumpkin, you transfer the stew to your pumpkin with the top on, and bake in the oven for about 2 hours. Don't over bake the pumpkin.  The best way to test to see if the pumpkin is soft, is from the bottom of the pumpkin, not the sides , like we did in the picture. When the bottom of the pumpkin is soft, you will get a scoop of soft pumpkin with easch serving of stew.
Whether you make, chicken stew, beef stew, or even a vegetarian stew, it will be wonderful. This Pumpkin stew makes a gorgeous presentation, if you can get it to the table. By the time you get all of the stew in the pumpkin in the pan, it's pretty heavy.  Luckily we weren't having company, so that's why the picture of the pumpkin is taken on the stove in bad lighting, sorry. Hopefully, you will have better luck with your pictures. Enjoy!

French Chicken Stew in a Pumpkin

  • ¾ lb.Baby carrots  We like carrots
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons virgin olive oil  
  • 2  medium yellow skinned onion, peeled and halved
  • ½ lb of button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon Herbes de Provence, available on spice aisle or, 1 teaspoon each dried sage, rosemary and thyme
  • 6 small red skinned potatoes, quartered
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 (can diced tomatoes (28 oz ounces)  
  • 1 quart plus 1 cup chicken stock, available in quart boxes We used low sodium stock.
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut in chunks, 3 skinless legs, and 3 skinless thighs
  • 1 small  can sliced, ripe olives
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • ¼ cold water
  • I pumpkin, washed


   1. In Dutch oven, brown onions and garlic in 2 Tbsp. of olive oil, until soft. Add carrots, mushrooms, potatoes, chicken stock, white wine, tomatoes, Herbes de Provence, chicken stock, chicken breasts, legs, and thighs, and sliced olives .Cover and simmer for two hours.

    2. Place cornstarch in cup and mix in cold water.  Pour in Dutch oven and heat, till juices are thickened.

    3. Be sure that the pumpkin will fit in your oven on the lower rack, with the lid on with the stem. Wash pumpkin, cut a 6 in to 8 in circle around the top stem. Remove top and set aside. Discard the seeds and fibers from the inside.

    4.  Place the pumpkin in a sturdy, shallow pan.  Spoon stew in the pumpkin.  Brush the outsides of the pumpkin with cooking oil.

    5.  Bake at 325 degrees for 2 hours or just until the pumpkin is tender (do not over bake).  Serve stew from pumpkin, scooping out a little pumpkin with each serving. Yield: 8-10 servings

I'm linked up to Deelicious Sweets Pumpkin Blog Hop! Join me and look at all the glorious dishes made with Charlie Brown's favorite, "Great Pumpkin."


  1. Chicken stew is a great meal this time of year. The use of the pumpkin is a very creative touch and very little of the pumpkin is wasted, it all has a purpose here. This basically has everything you could want in a soup, hearty and comforting, lots of flavor, great presentation and awesome use of a fall pumpkin. Thanks for sharing-great post.

  2. Tina-Thank you for your sweet words. The "stoup is very hearty, and filled with lots of flavor, chicken, and veggies. It's also fun to make, as well as seat.

  3. I was planning on making this so I'm glad to hear your thoughts and get your feedback. I'm also very glad for the heads-up on moving the thing around once cooked! I'll keep that in mind. It looks absolutely fantastic.

  4. Christiane- This stew is so good, but there some caveats on moving it. That's why you have to be careful not to over bake the pumpkin, or the bottom of the pumpkin will fall out, when you lift it out of the pan. Let me know how yours turned out.

  5. Becky, How gorgeous is this! I loved the "meeting of the minds", but whether it's beef or chicken, you've nailed the flavor profiles here in a sumptuous dish that's beautifully presented. Brava!

  6. What a wonderful autumn tradition. I'm making a dish baked in a pumpkin for French Friday's with Dorie in 2 weeks...and Bill again told me to quit this group when he saw the pumpkin on the counter. I actually think he might eat your lovely dish...not Dorie's though. It really is a wonderful presentation. Hope you're had a great Monday, Becky!

  7. Brooks-thank you for your sweet words. Beef or chicken in doesn't matter. Stew cooked in a pumpkin is the best.

    Lizzy- I hope that your husband like the Stew in the pumpkin. If you make it, let me know how it turned out.

  8. Sensational presentation, this is so gourmet... my goodness i love it!

  9. Love this idea, never cooked anything inside the pumpkin. I was afraid it would fall apart and leak. I would probably pick one that is too big too. Might have to do a test fit. I bet the chunks of pumpkin were good in there. I just ate and I'm hungry again, he he. Hope you are off to a great start this week, I know you have a lot coming up quickly.

  10. Great idea! I've never made anything in a pumpkin, it always makes me nervous. You guys came up with a great compromise to suit both your tastes.

    I would love for you to link up to my pumpkin blog hop! This would be an awesome starter for a Thanksgiving meal!

  11. Claudia- Thank you for your kind words.

    Gina- You just have to watch to be sure that you don't bake the pumpkin too long. If I can do me one, you can do it, too.

    Dee-Stew in a pumpkin isn't that hard, because the stew cooks on the stove first, and then you put the stew in the pumpkin, to bake the pumpkin.

  12. Oooh la, la!!! what gorgeous French chicken stew are we having here?. Yumm!
    Love the soup, the presentation, and especially the recipe you are sharing:DDD
    Thanks a million, Becky!

  13. Elisabeth-thank you for your sweet words!

  14. The best way to test to see if the pumpkin is soft, is from the bottom of the pumpkin, not the sides

  15. French Chicken Stew in a Pumpkin sounds yummy, I have been dealing with some of and seeing some excellent meal here has made me cook one too,

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