Last Monday the supper was a proper bull’s eye. I love when everything comes together like it was meant to be. We had a bottle of cider open from the night before and needed to use it up. I had defrosted some chicken thighs and had to do something with the butternut squash in the fridge, it needed to be eaten.
Chicken thighs are very tender as it is the darker meat on the chicken, but cooked like this it became even more tender. Lovely. The sauce which I used the cider for as well was just the perfect balance of creamy and comforting, sweet from the chilli sauce, sour from the cider and with a punch from the dijon. And the butternut squash. I could not have predicted how nice this would be. If I could, then I would have made this sooner, that’s for sure. The squash becomes very sweet and mushy when baked in the oven I wanted something fresh to contrast that, and it seemed like garlic, parsley, spring onions and parmesan was just the perfect combo. I will make this again and again and could eat half a butternut squash like this with some bread for lunch. Yu-um is all I can say. :) Try this, ok??
Start with the butternut squash and then put some potato wedges in the oven, continue with the chicken and lastly the sauce. Most of it will take care of it self in the oven, so even though it seems like lots of ingredients and a few steps, it is very simple.
Cider chicken with creamy sauce and gratinated butternut squash, serves 2
2 chicken thighs with the skin on
the juice from the chicken
a splash of concentrated stock (vegetable or chicken)
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp Heinz chilli sauce, or similar
300 ml single cream
The butternut squash:
1/2 butternut squash
1 clove of garlic, pressed
chopped fresh parsley
2 spring onions, chopped
The squash: Wash the squash and cut it lengthways in half. Take away the seeds and membranes. Put in a dish, pour over some oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for about 45 minutes or until soft in 200C. Chop spring onion and parsley and mix with the garlic. Sprnkle this on top of the butternut squash and add plenty of grated parmesan. Bake for another 10 minutes.
The chicken: Heat up olive oil in a frying pan that you can use in the oven later (no plastic handles that could melt) and sear the chicken all around until nice and golden. Season with salt, pepper and persillade. Pour in 2 cm of the cider and put the frying pan in the oven, 200C for 25-30 minutes. Check that the meat is cooked through. When done, wrap the meat in tin foil and let it rest while you make the sauce.
The sauce: Pour the juices from the frying pan into a sauce pan (or use the same frying pan if the cider hasn’t burned), add some more cider (about 100 ml) and let it reduce a little. Add cream, mustard and chilli sauce, and season add stock, perisllade, salt and pepper after taste. Bring to a boil and let it cook for a few minutes to thicken and for the flavours to develop.
Serve with potato wedges and maybe some steamed broccoli.