Fall is the time of year for easy chicken dinners, and this one, made with juicy bone-in chicken thighs, comes with extra crisp skin and its own built-in side dish of roasted squash and carrots, making for a simple all-in-one supper.
Note: I will admit that prepping butternut squash can be a bit of a pain, so, if you're short on time, or just don't feel like making the effort, purchase the pre-cut and peeled squash available in most grocery stores.
Why this recipe works:
- Browning the chicken skin first gives it an extra-crisp texture.
- Broth gently braises the chicken and vegetables, adding flavor to both.
- 6 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs (about 2 pounds total)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large carrot, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
- 1 cup diced butternut squash
- 1 small shallot, finely minced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon fresh juice from 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 450°F. Season chicken generously with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over high heat until lightly smoking. Add chicken pieces skin side-down and cook, moving chicken as little as possible, until chicken skin is rendered and deep golden brown, 8 to 12 minutes, reducing heat if smoking excessively. Flip pieces as they finish and lightly brown second side, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer browned chicken pieces to a plate and set aside.
Add remaining tablespoon oil to skillet and add carrots and squash. Cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add shallots and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add cinnamon and broth. Nestle chicken pieces into pan skin side up and transfer to oven. Roast until chicken registers 165°F on an instant read thermometer, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Transfer chicken to a plate. Stir lemon juice and cilantro into vegetables and season to taste with salt and pepper. Return chicken to skillet and serve.