millet harvest casserole

tonight's dinner has an interesting story. I wanted to make baked basmati brown rice but my friend, Melanie is sensitive to rice as well as gluten, so I was going to make her a little millet casserole to bake at the same time our rice ... until I found this recipe! (changed it up a bit to suit our tastes and garden).
Last night we had a roasted chicken, and I saved the drippings, chilled them and removed the fat, so used that instead of the traditional stock to bake the millet.

millet a go-go

1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup millet
2 cups chopped up roasted chicken
1 medium butternut peeled seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon minced sage leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup drippings or stock
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

Preheat the oven to 375F and grease a 2-quart casserole, a large gratin dish, or a 9x13-inch baking dish with olive oil.
Put 2 tablespoons of the oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the millet and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant and golden, about 3 minutes (don't overdo it). Spread in the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
Scatter the cooked chicken cubes, squash cubes and the cranberries on top of the millet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and the sage and drizzle with honey. Carefully pour the warmed stock over all. Cover tightly with foil and bake without disturbing, for 45 minutes.
Carefully uncover and turn the oven to 400F. As discreetly as possible, sneak a taste and adjust the seasoning. If it looks too dry, add a spoonful or two of water or stock. (The millet should be close to being cooked through at this point, if not you need to add liquid and keep it moist and cooking). Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds on top, and return the dish to the oven. Bake until the mixture bubbles and the top is browned another 10 minutes or so. Serve piping hot or at room temperature.

[originally a vegetarian/vegan dish at http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/mark-bittmans-autumn-millet-bake-recipe.html by AMAZING cook & author Mark Bittman ... see his "How to Cook Everything" ]

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