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posted: 9/19/2012 4:12 PM

Tex-Mex Red Chile Chicken with Salsa Spaghetti Squash

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  • Marie Evangelista used jarred salsa, chicken legs, spaghetti squash and pepitas to create this dish.

       Marie Evangelista used jarred salsa, chicken legs, spaghetti squash and pepitas to create this dish.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer


Spaghetti squash

1 medium spaghetti squash, halved and seeded

2 tablespoons olive oilw

1 small onion, chopped

1 cups chopped tomato

1 clove garlic, minced

cup salsa

cup crumbled feta cheese

3 tablespoons sliced black olives


cup pepitas (fresh hulled pumpkin seeds)

1 bunch cilantro

cup grated parmesan cheese

4 cloves garlic

1 serrano pepper, seeded

teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons olive oil

1 lemon, juiced


6 chicken legs (drumsticks)

2 teaspoons coarse salt (sea or kosher)

2 teaspoons ground chili powder

4 cloves garlic (finely chopped)

cup lime juice

cup olive oil

cup honey

4 lime wedges, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a metal baking sheet.

Cut squash in half length wise and scoop out seeds with a large spoon. Place squash cut-sides down on the prepared baking sheet and bake 30-45 minutes, or until a knife can be inserted with little effort. Set aside to cool enough that you can pick it up.

Using a fork, pull the stringy pulp from the squash and place in a bowl. Set aside.

Place the pepitas (pumpkin seeds) in a food processor, pulse until coarsely chopped. Add cilantro, cheese, garlic, serrano pepper, salt and olive oil. Cover and process until smooth. Place in a small bowl and stir in fresh lemon juice. Set aside.

Increase oven heat to 400 degrees. Place a sheet of foil or parchment on a baking sheet.

Rinse chicken legs thoroughly and pat dry. Peel up the skin of each chicken leg, cut slits in each, and stuff them with the pesto mixture. Place chicken legs on a prepared pan.

In a small bowl combine chili powder, lime juice, honey, olive oil, garlic and salt; brush mixture over chicken legs and bake 45-60 minutes.

Once chicken is removed from oven and cooling, heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and saute for 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and salsa, heat only until tomatoes are warm. Place spaghetti squash in skillet, and toss with sauted vegetables, feta cheese, olives and cilantro. Serve warm along with the chicken.

Maria C. Evangelista

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