Few things taste better on a cold day than a round courgette baked to perfection with savoury fillings. Courgettes, also known as round zucchini squash, are quick to prepare but require some cooking prep and baking time in the oven beforehand. Are you ready to add this filling dish to your repertoire? Here’s a delicious recipe to get you started!
Chicken and Tomato Filling
6 round courgettes, small
3 US tbsp (44 mL) of olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
4 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 US tbsp (15 mL) of tomato purée
2 US tbsp (5.5 g) of fresh thyme or oregano, coarsely chopped
200 g (7 oz) of chicken mince
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Serves 6 people
Part 1 Prepping the Courgettes
1. Your courgettes should be washed and dried. Soak each courgette in running water for a few minutes, brushing away any dirt and grime from the surface.
2. The tops of the courgettes should be removed. Remove the tops of the squash and set them aside for later. Your courgette serves as both a bowl and an entree in this dish!
3. Set aside each courgette after hollowing it out. Scoop out any seeds and pulp from the centre of each squash with a spoon. Scrape out the excess squash along the sides until the outer shell is only 12 cm (0.59 in) thick. Set aside this filling in a bowl for later use.
4. In a greased baking dish, bake the courgette shells for 30-35 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200 °C (392 °F). Coat the bottom of a roasting pan or earthenware dish with olive oil while the oven heats up. After that, arrange your 6 hollowed courgettes along the greased pan and bake for 30-35 minutes.
When the courgettes are done, they should be slightly tender but still hold their curved shape.
Don’t turn off the oven just yet; you’ll need it later.
5. Cook the courgette flesh until tender. 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil in a frying pan, allowing it to coat the bottom. Then, in the greased saucepan, add the courgette flesh. Stir in the filling and cook for a few minutes, or until the courgette is soft. When it’s done, strain the flesh into a bowl and set it aside for later.
At first, the courgette flesh may be a little watery. Don’t be concerned—this is completely normal!
Part 2 Adding the Filling
1. Fry the onions and garlic for a few minutes. Before adding any new ingredients, add another 1 US tbsp (15 mL) of oil to the frying pan and coat it well. Stir and sauté 1 chopped onion in the skillet until soft and completely translucent. While the onion is cooking, add 2 cloves minced garlic to the same pan.
2. To the onion mixture, add the chopped tomatoes and tomato purée. Scoop 4 chopped tomatoes and 1 US tbsp (15 mL) tomato purée into a frying pan. Continue to stir the tomatoes into the other vegetables until the tomatoes begin to collapse and lose their shape.
3. Combine the cooked courgette filling with the freshly chopped herbs. Take out the bowl of courgette filling you set aside earlier. Pour in the filling and 2 tbsp (5.5 g) fresh chopped thyme or oregano. Finish by seasoning the filling with a pinch of salt and pepper. When everything has been thoroughly combined, transfer the mixture to a separate bowl.
4. Cook the chicken mince in a skillet over medium heat. Fill the frying pan with 1 tbsp (15 mL) more oil. Then, into the greased skillet, add 7 oz (200 g) of chicken mince. Stir the chicken until it is light in colour and completely cooked.
Ground chicken is also known as chicken mince.
Stuff your courgettes with 7 oz (200 g) of beef mince, 7 oz (200 g) of pork sausage, 3.5 oz (100 g) of chicken mince, 2 garlic cloves, 1 egg, and 1 bunch of parsley for an extra meaty dish.
5. Combine the cooked chicken and vegetable filling. In the same skillet, combine the chicken mince and veggie mixture, stirring everything together to make a uniform filling. Give it a quick taste test and season with salt and pepper to taste.
6. Bake the courgettes for 30 minutes after stuffing them. Pour the savoury filling into the centre of each courgette, filling it all the way to the top. Place the courgette tops that you sliced off earlier on top of the filling. After that, drizzle olive oil over each closed courgette. Allow them to bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
Stuffed courgettes go well with a glass of wine and a loaf of crusty bread.
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