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Published on June 15, 2020

Roasted Kabocha and Chicken with Chocolate Enchilada Sauce

Healthy Meals Made Easy

Kabocha or any winter squash, such as butternut or acorn, works well in this savory chocolate recipe.


  • 1 2-pound kabocha squash
  • 2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, divided
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice 3 tablespoons chili powder, divided
  • 2 teaspoons cumin, divided
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne (or more to taste)
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3-4 ounces baking chocolate
  • 1/2 cup cojita cheese, grated or crumbled, for garnish (optional)
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. Begin cutting squash as you would a jack-o-lantern, by sawing a circle around the stem creating a lid. This is a safety measure. Once open, slice the squash in half. Scoop out the pith and seeds. Then slice the squash halves into 1-1 ½ inch half-moon slices. Place in an 8x8 baking dish. Place the chicken thighs, meaty side down in a separate 8x8 baking dish.
  2. Combine 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons sea salt, the 4 tablespoons of lime juice, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon cumin and 1 tablespoon of sugar in a small bowl and whisk together. Pour over squash slices and thighs. Allow these to marinate for 15-20 minutes. If longer, be sure to stick the chicken in the refrigerator. Place both dishes in the oven and bake until squash can be cut with the side of a fork and chicken reaches close to 165 degrees. About 45 minutes for the squash and 30-35 for the chicken.
  3. Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in a heavy 4-quart pot. Add ½ teaspoon salt, onion and garlic and sauté until onions are translucent. Add remaining chili powder, cumin and sugar along with cinnamon, cayenne, tomato sauce and water. Stir and let simmer on low for 20 minutes, then turn heat to low, add in chocolate and stir.
  4. To serve, place baked squash slices and one roasted thigh in a bowl or on a plate and pour sauce over all. Garnish with cojita. Plate remaining food and sauce the same.

Makes 4 servings (not including cojita) with 621 calories, 31 g fat, 43 g carbohydrates, 2,033 mg sodium, and 10 g fiber

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