This is a very simple, yet satisfying meal. The infusion of sage and lemon flavor into the chicken goes beautifully with the sweetness of the Kabocha Squash. Kobocha is very similar in taste to Butternut squash or sweet potato. The slightly mashed texture of some of the squash is great with the crunch of the toasted squash seeds and the delicate fried sage leaves that tie the meal together.
Ingredients for chicken:
1 whole chicken (fryer)
1 lemon, sliced into 1/8 inch discs
1/4 cup whole sage leaves
1 tbsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
Directions for chicken:
Separate skin from chicken flesh by gently moving hand against flesh, but under the skin. Be sure to loosen skin over thighs as well. Rub the tbsp of salt between the skin and meat. Place lemon and sage leaves against flesh, under skin. Place remaining lemon and sage into cavity. Rub outside of skin with olive oil.
Bake at 375 degrees for about 1 hour or until chicken reaches internal temp of 165 degrees. Rest 15 minutes before carving. I recommend not eating lemon slices. Save drippings to use with squash preparation.
Ingredients for Roasted Squash with fried sage and toasted seeds:
1/4 cup olive oil, separated
1/2 tsp salt + more to taste
1/2 tsp pepper + more to taste
Directions for squash:
Peel squash, cut in half (tip: poke holes in squash with fork and microwave for a couple minutes, which will make cutting the squash much easier), and scrape out seeds and pulp. Rinse seeds and separate from pulp. Spread out on a cookie sheet and put in a low temperature oven, about 150 degrees, for a few minutes to dry out. Removed from oven once dry and toss with olive oil and salt. Return to oven and bake at 300 degrees until brown and crisp .
Dice squash into 3/4 inch pieces. Toss with 1-2 tbsp olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread into baking dish and bake at 375 degrees until tender when poked with fork, about 30 -40 minutes. using a fork or potato masher, give the squash a few quick smashes, leaving some pieces intact. Stir in reserved drippings from baking chicken. (Butter would also be an excellent addition here, but we went with olive oil, since we are abstaining from dairy for these 30 days.)
Heat remaining olive oil in a small pan over medium-high heat. Add sage leaves. Turn over after about 5 seconds and remove from oil once bubbling has stopped. Drain on a paper towel and serve over squash with toasted seeds.