Chicken, Sausage and Pumpkin Bake (Pollo al forno con salsiccia e zucca)

Chicken, Sausage and Pumpkin Bake (Pollo al forno con salsiccia e zucca)

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Italian home-cooking can be explained in a simple equation:

a few fresh ingredients + a bit of love = happy diners!

This is always the case at my house, where we celebrate the abundance of the exquisite produce we get in Sydney, cooked simply with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and love. In the case of this sturdy chicken bake, the hero really is the stale bread, brought to new, noble life, when added into the tray, ready to soak up all the chicken and sausage juices. The pumpkin slices add a touch of sweetness to this otherwise savoury meal. Enjoy with gusto!

INGREDIENTS, serves 4-6

8 chicken thighs fillets

8 pork and fennel sausages or Italian sausages, cut into 3

3 thick slices of stale bread, cut into chunks

1/2 cup of dried porcini mushroom

3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil

3 French shallots (or small brown onions), peeled and cut in half

1 celery stick, cut into small chunks

1/2 cup of dry white wine

1/2 lb (200 gr) of sliced pumpkin, skin on

salt and pepper for seasoning

Rosemary sprigs or sage leaves

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HOW TO

1. Preheat your oven to 200 C, (390 F). Soak the mushroom in cold water for 30 minutes.

2. Place chicken, sausages, onion, celery, wine, bread, soaked mushrooms with 2 tablespoons of their soaking liquid, salt and pepper in a large bowl and mix well. Tip the bowl onto an oven tray sprayed with oil or lined with baking paper. Hide the soaked porcini underneath the meat to prevent them from drying in the oven.

3. Add the pumpkin slices, drizzle the oil on top, season with a bit more salt and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the meat is cooked through and golden.

4. Enjoy with a robust red wine!

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