For one week, maybe two, Susan kept asking me to make this recipe. At first, I thought it might be a bit labor-intensive. How wrong I was. It was, in fact, fairly easy to make and so delicious!
Writing for The New York Times, Yotam Ottolenghi:
“This oven bake requires minimal effort and is very much a meal in itself. Daqa is a vinegar-based condiment, most commonly used when making the much-loved Egyptian koshari, a hearty dish of rice, pasta and lentils. Daqa is a nifty way to brighten stews, braises and anything that needs an acidic lift. Feel free to swap out the kabocha squash for root vegetables, such as sweet potato or celery root, and serve the whole thing with nothing more than a leafy green salad.”
Yield: 6 servings
- 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 2¼ pounds)
- ¾ pound skin-on kabocha squash, seeds removed, cut into about 6 (1-inch-thick) wedges (I used butternut squash)
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons ground sweet paprika
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Fine sea salt
- 2 small yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, lightly toasted
- 8 ounces/1 heaping cup (uncooked) French green lentils, rinsed
- 2 cups chicken stock
- ¾ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup finely chopped chives
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill, plus 1 tablespoon picked leaves for serving
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
- Heat the oven to 450 degrees.
- In a large bowl, mix together the chicken, squash, 1 tablespoon paprika, 1 tablespoon oil and 1 teaspoon salt; set aside.
- Place the onions, 2 garlic cloves, ½ teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon salt and the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and 2 teaspoons paprika in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and mix to combine. Roast for 10 minutes, stirring halfway, until the onions are lightly colored. Stir in the lentils, chicken stock and 1 cup of water. Arrange the squash wedges and the chicken, skin-side up, on top and roast for another 20 minutes, until the chicken skin is deeply golden. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees and cook for another 40 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the squash is nicely softened.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the sour cream, chives and dill; set aside.
- To make the daqa, mix the remaining garlic and cumin with the vinegar, sugar, ¼ teaspoon salt and 2 tablespoons of water.
- When ready, remove the bake from the oven and top with spoonfuls of the sour cream mixture. Pour over the daqa and sprinkle with the extra dill. Serve hot, straight out of the baking dish.
Featured in: Yotam Ottolenghi’s Secret to Great Sheet-Pan Chicken