Chicken thighs marinated in sweet apple cider and a mix of spices, roasted alongside everybody's favorite fall vegetable - butternut squash! Serve as-is or alongside some creamy mashed potatoes or roasted broccoli.
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup apple cider
- 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons dijon or whole grain mustard
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 4 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- 1-inch ginger, peeled and sliced
- 2lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 1/2lbs butternut squash, peeled and chopped
- 3 tablespoons fig jam
- Add 1 teaspoon black peppercorns, 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and 1 teaspoon fennel seeds to a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. Grind to a powder. Add spices to a large bowl or ziplock bag. Add 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
- Mix spices together with 3/4 cup apple cider, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons mustard, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 4 cloves garlic (minced or grated) and 1-inch sliced ginger.
- Add 2lbs bonesless, skinless chicken thighs and toss to coat (if using bag, securely close bag and flip around a few times to ensure all the chicken gets coated). Put in fridge and marinate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
- Take chicken out about 30 minutes before roasting. Preheat oven to 425 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Add 1 1/2 lbs chopped butternut squash to pan and toss with 2 tablespoons of the marinade. Remove chicken from marinade and arrange on pan (don't thrown away the marinade!). It's okay if some of the squash is covered, but you want things to mostly be in one layer.
- Drizzle chicken and squash with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Place in oven and roast for 25 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and squash is browned.
- If desired, turn broiler on for a few minutes at the end to further brown the chicken and squash.
- While chicken cooks, add reserved marinade to a small pot. Add 3 tablespoons fig jam and bring to a boil. Let boil for 2 minutes and then reduce heat and let simmer for 10-15 minutes until the sauce thickens. Drizzle on top of chicken when serving.
- If you can swing it, whole spices are best here, but if you only have ground you can replace the whole black pepper, cumin, coriander and fennel with half the amount of powder.
- Don't be alarmed if the chicken looks pale when it is finished cooking. If you'd like, you can broil it for a few minutes right at the end to caramelize it a bit.