Friday, April 28, 2017

Hyotan Squash with Ginger Garlic Chicken

I was thumbing through one of my Hawaii cookbooks when I spotted this recipe. What drew my attention was the Hyotan squash. I had never heard of it, which stirred up my curiosity and got me surfing (not in the ocean) but on my computer for the answer.

That’s when I stumbled upon Suzi-Pratt’s blog that had pictures of her grandmothers Hyotan squash and recipe.

Mystery solved! Hyotan squash is what I have always referred to as Opo squash.

Now that I had clarity about what squash I needed to get. I took a closer look at the recipe. It won a contest and was selected as one of the recipes to be printed in the Hawaii Ohana Cookbook (impressive). 

That's when I had to ask myself… How can this recipe be an contest winner? If you don't count the water, salt and pepper, It only has 4 ingredients. I was dumbfounded and had to give it a try.

It only took one bite and I was SOLD! This 4 ingredient dish screams comfort and is extremely satisfying over a bowl of rice.

If you are a fan of Opo squash and ginger as I am, this is a wonderful way to enjoy it.

My notes to you…
The recipe calls for boneless/skinless chicken thighs (less fatty). I used chicken wings (deliciously fatty) and would most likely do that again. Spareribs would be another option, they would just take longer to tenderize than chicken.

When browning the chicken, be sure to use a moderate heat so you don’t burn the ginger and garlic or it will be bitter.

I used water as my liquid instead of chicken broth and was happy with the flavor. However, if you want a fuller flavor, use chicken broth.

Adding a good pinch or two of kosher salt  and a dash or two of pepper before stirring chicken and squash together - adds a lot to this simple dish. So if your dish tastes flat, you probably forgot this step.

Opo Squash with Gingery Garlic Chicken
printable recipe

2          pounds          chicken thighs, boneless/skinless or wings
2          Tbsp.              ginger, minced
6          cloves             garlic, minced
1          tsp.                 kosher salt
4          pounds          opo squash
2          Tbsp.              oil
½         cup                 water or chicken broth
Salt and Pepper to taste

Garnish with green onions

1.    Cut the chicken thighs into ½ inch slices or separate wing drums from flats.

2.    Combine chicken with ginger, garlic and salt. Mix and let marinate for an hour.

3.    Peel squash and scrape out seeds. Cut into 1” cubes.

4.    Heat oil in a large skillet or pot with a lid - over medium heat. Gently brown chicken until it is fully cooked.

5.    Add water or broth. Cover and simmer for 5 min.

6.    Place squash on chicken – don’t stir. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until squash is soft and tender.

7.    Stir gently and season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with green onions.

Enjoy over rice!!!

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