Butternut Squash Gratin & Chicken Fricassee Monday Two-Fer

October was always the least dependable of months … full of ghosts and shadows
Joy Fielding

This week we can choose recipes for “Orange Squash” from any of our past and present guest chef’s so once again my current state of feeling lazy dictated so I made one of my favorite butternut squash recipes for fall and relatively easy to make since peeling and slice the squash is the work part, but easily cut in half when you slice the squash in a food processor, sorry you still have to peel the squash.  This gratin is a fantastic side dish for many roasted types of meats and what especially pork and think about Thanksgiving, wow with all the fixin’s.

Tonight we enjoyed the squash gratin with a lovely Ruth Reichl chicken fricassee that I made in the Instant Pot a lovely, silky, saucy fricassee which is in the make again favorites file for me…

Slightly adapted from Pepin’s  Essential Pepin:  Link below
Butternut Squash Gratin

Serves 6

1 large butternut squash (3 3⁄4 pounds)
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup heavy cream
1⁄2 cup + grated Jarlsberg or other Swiss-type cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
a few grates of nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 400º  

Cut off the stem of the butternut squash and split it in two at the bottom of the neck; this will make it easier to peel. Peel the neck lengthwise with a sharp knife or vegetable peeler, removing enough skin so the orange flesh appears (there is a layer of green under the first layer of skin). For the body of the squash, remove the skin with a knife by going around it in a spiral fashion (it is easier to peel a round object in this manner); then cut lengthwise in half and, using a sharp spoon, remove the seeds. With the slicing blade of a food processor or a knife, cut the squash into 1/8-to 1⁄4-inch-thick slices.

Put the squash in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Boil over high heat for 1 1⁄2 minutes, drain in a colander.  Allow squash to rest for 5 or so minutes, pour into a generously buttered gratin dish.

Season with a little salt and pepper, and a few grates of nutmeg.  Add the cream, gently mix with a fork (I prefer a small rubber spatula) to distribute the ingredients. Cover with the cheeses.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until nicely browned.

Adapted from My Kitchen Year
Ruth’s Fricassee in the Instant Pot recipe for 2

1/2 chicken cut into 5 pieces/breast cut in half), wingtip removed all parts seasoned with salt and pepper
2 ribs of celery small diced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 cup white wine
1/2 pound baby Bella mushrooms, quartered if large, halved if small
splash of Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper
*optional 4 slices of bacon diced
5 tablespoons butter or 1 tablespoon butter + 4 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken broth or 1 pod of Knorr stock and 2 cups of water
fresh parsley, chopped
1 bay leaf
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 lemon

You can brown the chicken parts in the instant pot or in a cast iron pan that has more room, I sautéed the bacon in a cast iron pan (remove bacon to a plate), added some butter and a tablespoon EVOO when the butter is melted add the chicken parts skin side down and brown for 3-4 minutes, turn and sauté for another 3 or so minutes, remove to the plate that the bacon is on…Set the instant pot to sauté on high and sauté the onions, carrots, celery in the bacon grease butter, and EVOO.  Splash in the wine and cook for 2 minutes, add the bay leaf parsley, stock pod and 2 cups of water, and lightly season with salt and pepper.  Set the pot to manual high pressure 15 minutes, place the lid on and seal the vent.  Allow the pressure to come down naturally.

While the chicken is cooking add about 3 teaspoons butter to a small sauté pan and brown the mushrooms add about a teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce.  Set aside until you can add the ‘shrooms.  When the chicken and sauce is ready,  remove the chicken to a serving platter, whisk two egg yolks in a small bowl with the cream and ladle in a bit of the sauce a little at a time to temper the egg mixture then whisk into the pot of hot sauce then add the lemon juice.  Ladle sauce over chicken and garnish with fresh minced parsley.