Dinner for a Crowd: Roasted Chicken and Butternut Squash Kale Tart

Making dinner for a crowd? The possibilities are endless. Luckily for me, a friend specifically requested a repeat of a butternut squash kale tart I made a while back, which just left choosing the main course and another side. Roasted chicken seemed like an economical and tasty choice, with a side green salad.

This is definitely a multi-hour affair, so set aside an afternoon and share the results with 10-12 of your nearest and dearest.

Local ingredients: Cal Poly chicken, Cal Poly eggs

Ingredients (Roast Chicken)

1 small (3-5 lb) whole chicken, oven-ready (no neck/giblets)


fresh rosemary (handful of stalks)

fresh thyme (handful of stalks)

Ingredients (Butternut Squash Kale Tart): based on this recipe from Passports and Pancakes

1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour

1 c. all purpose flour

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter

1/2 c water in ice

pie weights or dried beans

1 large butternut squash

3 tbsp sunflower oil

1/2 tbsp ground marjoram

1 large bunch kale

3 cloves garlic

1/2 tbsp marash chile flakes

4 eggs

1/3 – 1/2 lb gruyere


Preheat the oven to 425. Pat chicken dry, then salt liberally. Set in the bottom of a dutch oven and add rosemary and thyme stalks around the sides. Roast (lid off) until fully cooked and juices run clear. Roasting time will vary, but plan on at least 1 and up to 2 hours.

While the chicken is roasting, prepare the ingredients for the butternut squash kale tart. Cut butter into small chunks then add to  flour in a medium bowl.

Using your hands, combine butter and flour, slowly adding water as needed, until a crust forms that just holds together.

Form a ball, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 30 minutes – overnight. Allow the crust to come to room temperature, roll out, and press inside a medium baking dish. You can use a larger-than-normal pie dish, or some other shape (i.e. Pyrex). Don’t worry if the surface is not perfectly smooth, but do try and keep the whole crust connected to itself; it will make it much easier to serve.

Line the crust with parchment paper and add the pie weights on top. Bake at 425 for 10 minutes, then remove pie weights and bake until the edges just start to brown, another 10-15 minutes. Watch the crust carefully after removing the pie weights; it can easily burn! Set aside and let cool.

Peel and dice the butternut squash, then toss with 2 tbsp sunflower oil and the ground marjoram. Roast for 30 minutes at 425, until squash is tender. Set aside.

Slice kale into ribbons. Heat remaining oil over medium heat and add garlic, cooking until fragrant. Add kale and marash chile, then sauté until kale is dark green and tender. Set aside.

Grate gruyere. Combine 2/3 cheese, eggs, squash and kale in a large mixing bowl. Once crust is cool, pour filling in and scatter remaining gruyere on top.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until egg is set and cheese is melted. Let sit at room temperature and re-warm if needed before serving.

Once chicken is cooked, remove to a serving platter, cover with foil and let rest 15-30 minutes. Carve and serve!


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