Browned & Braised Chicken in Pumpkin-Tomato Sauce

Are you still working through all those whole pumpkins you got at the farmer's market last fall? We are too. We took a little break after the holidays... and now back at 'em!

This is a fresh new way to use pumpkin that doesn't taste like Thanksgiving. A delicious one-pan meal that's easy to both prep and cook. Bay Leaf pairs wonderfully with pumpkin—a little known fact—so we didn't hold back. Marjoram and tomatoes impart the dish with a distinctive Italian flair.

4 chicken thighs, bone-in and skin intact

Olive oil and butter for browning

1 medium onion, diced

4-6 small farm carrots, diced large

1-2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 can whole tomatoes, roughly broken with fingers, including juice

1/2 cup pumpkin pulp

3/4 cup (more or less) chicken stock

2 teaspoons dried marjoram

1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus extra to taste

6-8 bay leaves

Flat leaf parsley or cilantro to garnish

Heat a medium-large saute pan over medium-high heat. Coat the chicken thighs with olive oil and sprinkle with a little sea salt. When the pan is hot, add a couple teaspoons butter to the pan (optional but recommended to keep the skins from sticking). Lay the chicken thighs in the pan, skin-side-down, being careful not to crowd them. Brown the thighs until golden-brown and crisp, 6-8 minutes or so. Remove the thighs to a plate, and reserve.

Add the onion and carrots to the pan and saute until the onions are browned, about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for a minute or so. Mix the tomatoes, pumpkin pulp, marjoram and 1/2 teaspoon salt into the onion mixture. Stir to incorporate.

Tuck the chicken thighs into the sauce, skin-side-UP this time, adding as much stock as is needed to almost cover the chicken. Tuck the bay leaves around the sauce.

Turn the heat to low, cover and simmer, adding chicken stock occasionally as the sauce thickens. Cook 25-30 minutes until the chicken is tender and pulls off the bone. Add salt to bring the flavors up.

To serve, drizzle the top with olive oil and sprinkle with parsley or cilantro.