Pan-Cooked Chicken Thighs with Butternut Squash Recipe

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Yasmin Fahr

There's a reason that chicken dishes are some of the more searched-for recipes on the internet. Chicken is incredibly versatile. Whether you're cooking a whole chicken, the breasts, thighs, or wings for a football fiesta, there are so many ways to prepare and flavor the bird. Plus, what you serve it with is completely fair game.

For a quick dinner though, I tend to prefer chicken thighs because they have more flavor than the breasts. While I steer toward bone-in ones, boneless and skinless thighs are also an option if you're looking for a slightly healthier and quicker meal (they cook faster without the bone).

This recipe cooks the thighs until the skin is crispy, then sets the chicken aside while making the butternut squash. Add the chicken back in to finish, and you've got a tasty and healthy meal in just 30 minutes. Of course, feel free to use other varieties of squash or vegetables if you have them on hand or aren't a fan of butternut squash.

Note: Chopped fresh rosemary can be used in place of the sage.

Recipe Details

Pan-Cooked Chicken Thighs with Butternut Squash Recipe

Active 20 mins
Total 30 mins
Serves 4 servings


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken legs (about 2 pounds total)
  • 4 cups cubed butternut squash
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves (see note)
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium homemade or store-bought chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon cold butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice from 1 lemon


  1. Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the chicken legs, skin-side down and cook without moving until golden brown and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Flip, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on the other side. Transfer to a large plate and set aside.

  2. Add the cubed squash to the fat in the pan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring and tossing occasionally, until it begins to brown and soften, about 4 minutes (reduce heat if anything starts to burn). Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Add the sage and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chicken broth and deglaze the pan, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom. Push the squash to the sides, and add the chicken back in, skin side up. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, until chicken thighs are cooked through (thighs should register at least 170°F on an instant read thermometer) and the stock is reduced to about a half cup, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer chicken to a serving platter. Serve immediately.

  3. Off heat, whisk in butter and lemon juice to sauce, swirling to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper and pour around the chicken. Serve immediately.