Roasted maple chicken with winter squash and apples

I put this recipe on my recipe pages awhile ago but today I made it again for dinner and decided I really needed to encourage my readers to try it. I updated the photos, made a few modifications, and decided to post it on the blog tonight. This recipe was made and posted after I got home from my real job on a Friday night at 6:30 pm after fighting Sacramento traffic in rain for an hour. My point? It is an easy low stress Friday night dish for a cold fall or winter night. This dish has many of the flavors I associate with fall: apples, winter squash, maple syrup (or honey). Put it all in one pan, add a little bit of caramelization from roasting and you have one of my favorite easy dinners.

These Winesap apples were harvested from one of our apple trees on the farm here. I used these and some of our butternut squash. The squash is incredibly easy to grow and it will store for months in our cool garage.

The apples will store for several months in the refrigerator. That is another reason why I make this dish often in the fall; I usually have the ingredients on hand.

You can make the dish with whole skinless or skin on chicken thighs with bones.

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees, then rub the roasting pan with a Tablespoon or two of olive oil to keep the food from sticking, and add the chicken thighs. 7 were used in this batch. Put the chicken in the oven while the apples and squash are being  prepared. This should take about 10 minutes.

Peel and core the apples and cut them into quarters. Peel the winter squash and cut it into similar sized pieces. I use one apple and about 3/4 cup squash for each chicken piece but you can use whatever amount you would like. This was a whole large butternut squash and 7 apples. Throw these on top of the chicken in the pan, spread it out evenly, then put it back in the oven while preparing the sauce. Usually the chicken, the apples and the squash spend about 10 more minutes in the pan before I add the sauce.

The sauce is a mixture of 1/2 honey or maple syrup and 1/2 Dijon mustard.  For this batch I used 1/2 cup maple syrup and 1/2 cup Dijon mustard. Mix it until it is well blended, then put it on top of the vegetables and chicken and stir it all up well, to coat all the squash, chicken and fruit.

Now put it back in the oven to bake.  Every 10 minutes or so take it out and scrape the bottom and lightly stir it to keep it from burning. After about 30-40 more minutes the chicken should be done, the squash and apples should be nicely caramelized and the whole thing is ready to serve.

Roasted Maple Chicken with Winter Squash and Apples

© 2015. Dayna Green-Burgeson RD, CDE. All Rights Reserved.


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