How to make Diana Henry’s chicken with wild mushrooms, pumpkin, rice and sage butter

  • Sat,28 Sep 2019 08:09:17 AM

“If the butter is an effort too far, leave it out, it’s still a good dish,” notes Diana Henry, food writer extraordinaire.

“This is also lovely with a generous handful of grated Parmesan or pecorino cheese sprinkled on top, 15 minutes before the end of the cooking time. You don’t have to use only chicken thighs, you can use a mixture of thighs and drumsticks, if you prefer.”

(Serves 4)

For the chicken and rice:
15g dried wild mushrooms
500ml chicken stock
170g basmati rice
1 onion, roughly chopped
125g chestnut mushrooms, trimmed and thickly sliced
8 good-sized skin-on bone-in chicken thighs, excess skin neatly trimmed
345g pumpkin or butternut squash, deseeded and chopped into big chunks or wedges (prepared weight)
A little extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

For the sage butter:
75g unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 sage leaves, finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, finely grated

Chicken with wild mushrooms, pumpkin, rice and sage butter - From the Oven to the Table: Simple dishes that look after themselves by Diana Henry (Mitchell Beazley/Laura Edwards/PA)
(Mitchell Beazley/Laura Edwards/PA)


1. Preheat the oven to 190°C fan (400°F), Gas Mark 6.

2. Soak the wild mushrooms in 75ml just-boiled water for 15 minutes.

3. To make the sage butter, mash the butter with the sage and garlic and set it aside (I only chill this if I’m going to keep it for a while).

4. Drain the wild mushrooms, adding their soaking liquid to the chicken stock.

5. Wash the rice in a sieve under the cold tap, until the water runs clear, to remove the excess starch.

6. Put the onion and both the chestnut and dried mushrooms into a 30cm sauté pan or shallow casserole (the width is very important) and sprinkle on the rice (it may not look like much, but it expands, don’t worry). Put the chicken thighs, skin side up, and the pumpkin on top. Sprinkle a little olive oil over the vegetables and chicken and season well. Bring the stock mixture to
the boil, then carefully pour it around the chicken thighs.

7. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, by which time the chicken will be lovely and golden and the stock will have been absorbed. Put knobs of the sage butter over the chicken thighs, allow it to melt, then serve.

From The Oven To The Table: Simple Dishes That Look After Themselves by Diana Henry, photography by Laura Edwards, is published by Mitchell Beazley, priced £25 ( Available now.

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