Rat Stew in a Pumpkin
By Chris Molnar
This “Rat Stew” is complete with legs, tails, whiskers, eyes and entrails. This Halloween recipe is actually for a scrumptious Mediterranean stew, baked in a real pumpkin for a stunning presentation. If anyone thinks they have identified the “rat legs” as cнιcκen, simply give them an evil smile and say, “Well, they say everything tastes like cнιcκen, right?” Even though it may look complicated, this is an easy recipe.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1.5 lb cнιcκen wingettes (mini-drumsticks, for the rat legs)
1/2 lb smoked sausage links
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper
4 cloves garlic
1/4 of a 6.75 oz package of maifun rice sticks (these are very thin Asian rice noodles, for whiskers. You could also substitute angel hair)
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon rosemary
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 cups cнιcκen or beef broth
1 1/2 cups red wine
Black olives, for eyes
1 8-10 lb pumpkin
Clean out pumpkin. Do not carve it!
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
Mix 1/4 cup flour, salt, pepper, paprika and thyme together. Reserve 1 1/2 tablespoons of this mixture for thickening the stew.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Dredge the cнιcκen wingettes in the remaining flour mixture and brown them in the skillet with the oil. While the wings brown, slice sausage into tails. To make tails, cut each sausage in half vertically. Then, cut each of these halves in half lengthwise. Cut the sausage halves into thin slices that taper to a point at one end, like rat tails. See the illustration.
Chop bell pepper into long thin strips (think entrails). Also, chop onion and mince garlic.
After cнιcκen has browned, transfer it to the pumpkin.
Heat sausage, garlic, pepper, and onion in skillet until sausage is browned and vegetables are soft.
Put sausage and vegetables into the pumpkin with the cнιcκen. In a bowl, combine broth, wine, Worcestershire sauce, and herbs. Pour into pumpkin.
Place pumpkin on a strong baking sheet and brush outside with olive oil.
Bake for an hour and 45 minutes at 375 degrees.
Remove pumpkin. Break rice sticks into 3-4 inch long pieces and add to the pumpkin stew. If necessary, mix reserved flour mixture into a paste with a little bit of water and add to stew to thicken it.
Return the pumpkin to oven for another 15 minutes.
Remove the pumpkin from the oven, and season stew with additional salt and pepper if necessary. You can either add the black olive “eyes” directly to the stew or serve them on the side as a garnish. When serving stew, make sure to sc ɾąքҽ some of the pumpkin meat off of the side.
Yum! Not too much rat in it. Just five or so. Enjoy!
Are you kidding me?