Roast chicken and pumpkin, black lentils and hazelnut picada recipe

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It’s a bit cheeky to phone this picada. Picada is a Spanish combination – normally of breadcrumbs, nuts, garlic, herbs and a small liquid – that is frequently employed as a thickener in braises, so is ordinarily included to liquid. But it can be a great mixture of textures and flavours, and there’s nothing improper with employing it like an Italian gremolata, thrown in excess of at the stop of cooking to heighten flavours. It is stunning in opposition to the rooster and pumpkin flesh.

Prep time: 5 minutes | Cooking time: 1 hour 35 minutes




For the hen

  • 1.8kg hen
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 tbsp amontillado sherry
  • 1kg Crown Prince pumpkin or butternut squash, slice into wedges, peeled and deseeded
  • 225g black lentils
  • ½ small onion, remaining in just one piece
  • 1 celery stick, halved
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 tbsp added virgin olive oil
  • Juice of ½ lemon

For the picada

  • 100ml olive oil
  • 30g chewy peasant-design bread, sliced 1cm (½in) thick
  • 40g skin-on hazelnuts
  • Zest from ½ orange, taken out with a zester, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 1 tbsp amontillado sherry


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C supporter/Gas 4.
  2. Put the chicken into a roasting tin and year it within and out. Drizzle with two tablespoons of the frequent oil. Now pour on four tablespoons of the sherry, equally within and about the top, too. Roast for just one hour 20 minutes, basting.
  3. Set the squash or pumpkin into a roasting tin. Include the relaxation of the frequent oil and season, then convert it around. Drizzle with two tablespoons of the sherry. Put into the oven after the chicken has been in for 55 minutes (the squash wants to cook for 40 minutes). Allow for the hen to rest for 15 minutes whilst the pumpkin finishes cooking it need to be tender and caramelised at the edges.
  4. In the meantime, place the lentils in a pan with the onion, celery, garlic, bay and thyme and cover with drinking water. Provide to the boil, then lower the warmth and simmer for 15-30 minutes, right up until tender. Hold an eye on it as you do not want mush! Drain and eliminate the onion, celery, garlic and herbs (if you can discover the garlic). Stir in the olive oil and lemon juice. Year very well. Include and preserve heat. (Lentils are fantastic lukewarm in this dish.)
  5. To make the picada, pour the oil into a smaller frying pan and set in excess of a medium-very low heat. Dip a piece of bread in the oil if it sizzles a little bit, decrease the heat a little and incorporate the bread in a solitary layer. Fry, turning, till it is a pale caramel colour on the two sides. Spread out on kitchen paper and leave to amazing.
  6. Toast the nuts in a dry frying pan, stirring, until eventually they give off a nutty odor. Rub in a tea towel even though heat to take away skins, then roughly chop. Break the bread into chunks, set in a bag and crush to coarse crumbs with a rolling pin. Finely chop the relaxation of the substances and combine with the vinegar and sherry.
  7. Put the lentils and pumpkin on a large platter with the chicken.
  8. Drizzle the rooster with the remaining two tablespoons of sherry, scatter in excess of the picada and serve.

Recipe from A Bird in the Hand by Diana Henry (Mitchell Beazley, £20). Order your duplicate from

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