November has arrived and I couldn’t be more excited. The leaves are in their full glory, a chill is in the air, and I can’t wait until Thanksgiving. The flavors in this recipe are what you would expect from a turkey dinner except with juicy chicken thighs and about 1/5th the effort. Honestly, this recipe uses just a few ingredients and has many layers of flavor. I serve it with lacinato kale and honey nut squash which both take minutes to prepare and are so good for you. My husband couldn’t stop raving about the kale….and he didn’t even put hot sauce on it (victory).
What you need:
4 bone in skin on chicken thighs or about 1.5 lbs
salt and pepper
1 tsp fresh chopped rosemary + 1 sprig
1 naval orange, peeled and quartered
1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries
2 small shallots
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
2 tbsp butter
3 cups lacinato kale, washed and stems removed
1 small honey nut squash, peeled and chopped
Begin by patting the chicken thighs dry and sprinkling with salt and pepper and your chopped rosemary. Heat your oven to 425. I like to put the squash in the oven before beginning the chicken and it should be fully cooked by the time everything is done (about 30 minutes). I simply cube the squash and put in a baking dish with salt, pepper, and olive oil. It has so much flavor on its own, it really doesn’t need anything else except some butter at the end.
Place a drizzle of olive oil in an oven safe skillet and set over medium-high heat. When the olive oil starts to pop place your chicken thighs skin side down and let them sit for a good 5 minutes. When the skin is brown and crispy flip the thighs over. Add in your shallots, rosemary sprig, orange slices, cranberries, and chicken broth and bring the broth to a boil. Stir in 2 tbsp butter and turn off the heat. Push down on the oranges to release their juices. Spoon the pan sauce over the top of the chicken and place your dish in the oven and set timer for 20 minutes. If you haven’t done so, now is a good time to wash and trim the kale.
When the oven timer has gone off and the chicken is cooked through, remove from the oven and place the chicken on a separate plate to rest. Check the squash which should also be finished at this time. Add 1 tbsp butter and mash the squash, it will be soooo good.
Remove the oranges, and rosemary from the chicken pan. There will be a delicious gravy/sauce in the skillet and this is what you cook the kale in (make sure to leave the cranberries and shallots). Place the dish back on top of the stove at medium heat and cook your kale, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes.
Now serve your chicken with mashed honey nut squash, a side of kale, and plenty of sauce/gravy that should remain in the pan. I promise you, this is a delicious meal.