I first posted about pumpkin chicken thighs after salvaging an unsuccessful attempt at pumpkin soup. The photos on that post are objectively horrendous, so I was puzzled when the recipe started gaining traction and popularity. I made the recipe again, and while it had potential, it wasn’t as good as I knew it could be. I took the post down because I wasn’t proud of it. And then people started asking for it back. So I set out to right my wrong and give you a recipe for pumpkin chicken thighs that I find much more delicious. The flavor of this sauce evolves as it lingers on the palate, from sweet to pumpkin to Japanese curry to a mildly spicy finish. I really enjoy it, and I think this recipe is a winner. But, stay tuned for a follow-up post later this week for a much savorier version of pumpkin chicken thighs- one that strays from the flavor profile in the initial recipe.
To begin, preheat your oven to 450º F. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, 2 tablespoons of chicken stock, 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon of garam masala, 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
Line an 8×8 inch baking dish with tin foil, and nestle in 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken thighs.
Pour the pumpkin sauce over the chicken thighs, making sure that they are fully coated on the tops and bottoms.
Bake the chicken thighs for 20 minutes. Then, remove them from the oven, and baste the tops of the thighs with the sauce.
Return the thighs to the oven, and bake them for another 20 minutes until the sauce is thickened and the tops of the thighs begin to brown. Allow the thighs to rest at room temperature for about 5 minutes. The sauce will thicken as it cools.
Remove the thighs from the baking dish, and set them on a serving plate. Whisk the sauce that remains in the baking dish until it is smooth and uniform. Spread the sauce on top of the chicken thighs, and then top them with some minced parsley for color. Dish out and gobble up. These thighs are a winner, and I’ll certainly be making them again.
- Chicken thighs- 1 pound
- Pumpkin puree- 1/2 cup
- Maple syrup- 2 tablespoons
- Chicken stock- 2 tablespoons
- Rice vinegar- 1 tablespoon
- Sea salt- 1/2 teaspoon
- Garam masala- 1/2 teaspoon
- Ground ginger- 1/2 teaspoon
- Black pepper- 1/4 teaspoon
- Cayenne pepper- 1/8 teaspoon