A healthy and creamy chicken stew in a pumpkin shell to brighten your Fall or Thanksgiving table. You can sub turkey for chicken!
Creamy Chicken Stew in a Pumpkin Shell is served! It's a gluten-free dish from Northeastern Brazil... and can take care of your holiday leftovers. How?
Simply sub turkey for chicken. Easy peasy! 😉
This The Best Pumpkin Pie can also be part of your feast although there will be no leftovers to freeze.
Well, enjoy both and your celebration!
ABOUT CREAMY CHICKEN STEW IN A PUMPKIN
In Brazil, shrimp stew, like this moqueca, in a pumpkin shell (camarão na moranga) or jerked beef in a pumpkin shell (carne seca na moranga) are the most popular.
But as you see, using other meats such as poultry or fish is not unusual. They are typical dishes from my region, Northeast Brazil, although they are often enjoyed in other regions as well.
Down in Brazil we boil the the pumpkin shell. However, as a chef I prefer to roast the pumpkin shell instead, in order to preserve both its flavor and texture.
If you don't have access to requeijão (Brazilian cream cheese spread), no worries!!!! You can use American cream cheese like I did.
Brazilians usually make this healthy chicken stew in a medium to large pumpkin shell (family-size) which is later ladled out and served on individual plates.
On the other hand, you can easily use small pumpkins for making this simple chicken stew, and then present them as servings for each individual.
Well, whether served as a family-sized or as an individual dish, our creamy chicken stew recipe is easy and delish!
Now which way will you prefer to serve this hearty and simple chicken stew???
COOK'S NOTES FOR FRANGO NA MORANGA
- STORE leftover in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. You may freeze it for up to 2 months but it'll alter consistency.
- Coconut milk has a lot of fat so you can use 1 light cream cheese for this recipe.
- Use either chicken or turkey.
- If you don't enjoy cilantro, add parsley instead.
- I used mozzarela but you may choose any other melting cheese.
- Buy a medium or large pumpkin (family meal), or small pumpkins instead for entertaining.
Chicken Stew in a Pumpkin Shell (Frango na Moranga)
- stove top
- For the Pumpkin:
- 1 medium pumpkin
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 pinch ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- For the Chicken Stew:
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 medium yellow or white onion small diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1-½ pounds roasted chicken skinned and shredded, 700 g
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 2 teaspoons tomato paste
- 1 cup chicken stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ¾ cup pumpkin puree scooped out from the roasted pumpkin lid
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 4 oz light cream cheese softened, about ½ cup
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley or cilantro
- 1-2 cups shredded cheese for the topping Mozzarella or other semi-soft of your choice. I used Fiesta Blend in mine
- For the pumpkin: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (191 degrees C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Trace a guide line around the top of the pumpkin using a pumpkin carving tool or a paring knife. Then, following your guide line, use a sharp knife to cut off the top or lid.
- Scoop out all the seeds from both the pumpkin and the lid.
- Season the inside of both the pumpkin shell and the lid with salt and pepper, and brush the rim of the pumpkin shell and the inner part of the lid with melted butter. Use the remaining melted butter to drizzle the inside of the pumpkin shell.
- Bake pumpkin shell upside down for about 30 minutes or until it is soft when poked with a knife....and the lid for about 20 minutes. Let cool on a rack. Once warm, scoop out the roasted pumpkin pulp from the lid and, if necessary, from the pumpkin shell-- just enough to obtain ¾ cup of pulp.
- Be careful to not slit open the pumpkin shell: you want to preserve the pumpkin shell where the chicken stew will be served. Reserve the pulp.
- For the chicken stew: In a large dutch pan, heat the oil over medium heat and sweat the chopped onion for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then, add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Increase the heat to medium-high, add the shredded chicken, and sautée for about 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the wine and let evaporate. Stir in the tomato paste and then the stock, salt, and pepper. In a blender, blend the reserved roasted pumpkin puree with the coconut milk and add to the chicken stew. Bring to a boil; then decrease the heat to medium-low, cover partially, and let simmer for approximately 15 minutes.
- Mix the softened cream cheese into the chicken stew and let cook for 2 minutes over medium-low heat. Remove from heat and stir in the chopped parsley or cilantro.
- Pour chicken stew into the pumpkin shell that has been resting on the baking sheet, and top stew with the shredded cheese. Broil for about 5 minutes or until cheese has melted and begun to brown a bit. Serve chicken stew with either white rice nor cauliflower rice. Enjoy!
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