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A couple of Halloweens ago I used a recipe I found on the BBC Food website for a rather splendid Chicken and Pumpkin Couldron. I blogged about it on my What I Had For My Tea blog (no longer maintained). A tasty stew cooked and served in the shell of the pumpkin. The BBC has since deemed to break the internet and has taken to recipe down. Fortunately I had a copy printed out in the kitchen drawer so I've retyped it and am posting it here for seasonal posterity.

Chicken and Pumpkin Couldron

Serves 4-6


  • 1 pumpkin, 25cm in diameter

  • 2tbsp olive oil

  • 6 chicken thighs, skinned, boned, chopped

  • 2 leeks, sliced

  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed

  • 2 red peppers, sliced

  • 120g/4oz smoked streaky bacon

  • 30g/1oz plain flour

  • 570ml/1pt chicken stock

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 2tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

  • salt and pepper


Chicken and Pumpkin Couldron - Served

  1. Heat oven to 190C/375F/Gas mark 5

  2. Top the pumpkin and deseed. Cut away/scoop out flesh from inside making sure you don't cut through the skin. Dice the flesh into 1cm cubes.

  3. Heat oil in a large pan and quickly fry the chicken until golden. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

  4. Add the leeks, garlic, peppers and bacon to the pan and cook for 3-4mins until vegetables are starting to soften. Stir in the flour and cook for 1min. Stir in the stock, bring to the boil and season well. Add the chicken, pumpkin cubes, bay leaf and cinnamon stick.

  5. Pour the mixture into the pumpkin and put the lid on. Lightly oil the skin of the pumpkin and place on a baking sheet.

  6. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the stew is piping hot.

  7. Stir in the parsley and serve straight from the Couldron.

Note: if you want a vegetarian Couldron, leave out the chicken and bacon and add some butter beans with other root vegetables such as carrots, swedes and parsnips.