Kombu Roast Chicken with Kabocha Squash and Daikon


2019 Best New Chef Matthew Kammerer amps up butter with salty, mineral-rich seaweed at Harbor House Inn in Elk, California. We tried the butter under the skin of a roast chicken; it built major depth of flavor in this simple weeknight dinner.

Kombu Roast Chicken with Kabocha Squash and Daikon
Photo: Victor Protasio
Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 40 mins


  • 1 (2-pound) kabocha or acorn squash, cut into 8 wedges, each wedge halved crosswise

  • 1 (1-pound) daikon, cut into 1-inch-thick rounds

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 3 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/8 ounce dried kombu, broken into small pieces

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 1 tablespoon grated garlic

  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest

  • 1 (3- to 4-pound) whole chicken, rinsed and patted dry


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss together squash, daikon, oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Arrange squash mixture in a roasting pan in a single layer.

  2. Process kombu in a spice grinder until finely ground, about 25 seconds. Stir together 1 teaspoon ground kombu (reserve any remaining for another use), butter, garlic, lemon zest, and 1 3/4 teaspoons salt until thoroughly blended. Carefully run your fingers underneath skin of chicken breasts and thighs to loosen. Spread butter mixture under skin. Season outside of chicken with remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Place chicken on top of squash mixture.

  3. Roast in preheated oven until a thermometer inserted into thickest portion of breast registers 155°F, about 1 hour, gently stirring squash mixture halfway through. Remove pan from oven; let chicken rest at least 15 minutes. Carve chicken, and serve with roasted vegetables.

Make Ahead

Kombu butter can be made and refrigerated up to 1 week ahead.

Suggested Pairing

Earthy, exotic Loire natural white.

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