Honey Chicken with Butternut Squash
To all my Canadian friends I hope you have survived Thanksgiving with your belt buckles intact and retained the warm glow that comes from being thankful for all that we have...family, friends and a table groaning with awe inspiring dishes.
But what if you have fewer guests and you want to go hiking instead of spending all day in the kitchen? Well, the answer is here. Of course you can have this dish anytime since it is quick to prepare and bursting with fall flavours from the earthy taste of butternut squash and sage to the sweet tones of honey crusted chicken. Top it with crispy shallots and a side of wild rice and other aromatic rice with autumnal flavours and the sweet tang of apple and you have Thanksgiving on the "fly."
No crispy shallots in the photo since I didn't take the time to stage them for the photo... which was done in a hurry of course since hiking was in the cards...and what is that ghostly figure on the plate.....spooky......just a play of light...or is it?
Honey Chicken with Butternut Squash**
recipe from Canadian Chef Anthony Sedlak
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
4 whole chicken breast supreme
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into large chunks
3 tablespoons butter, divided
5 sage leaves
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper
3 cups vegetable oil
3 large shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Dried Cranberry and Pecan Rice Dressing
1 (14-1/2 ounce) can chicken broth
1 (7 ounce) aromatic rice or combination of any wild rices
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
2 cups chopped onion
1-1/2 cups chopped celery
1 tart apple, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage leaves, or 1/4 teaspoon dried
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
3/4 cup coarsely broken toasted pecans
3/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1/3 cup chopped parsley
To make Honey Chicken: Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a small saucepan set over medium heat, simmer white wine and honey until liquid has reduced by a third. Add rosemary and pepper. Remove glaze from heat and set aside for basting.
Season chicken with salt and pepper.
In a large sauté pan, set over medium high heat, sear chicken breast, skin side down. Cook chicken breasts for 5-6 minutes, or until the fat has rendered, and the skin is golden and crispy. Remove from heat and let cool 2 minutes. Flip chicken.
Add butter to pan with chicken and place in preheated oven. Cook for 8-10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through, basting with prepared glaze halfway through.
Butternut Squash: Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a medium skillet, heat olive oil. Add butternut squash and cook 3-4 minutes, or until lightly coloured.
Add 2 tbsp butter and cook another 3-4 minutes to allow squash to brown slightly.
Place pan in preheated oven and roast squash for 25-30 minutes, or until tender. Remove from oven and transfer squash to a bowl.
Add remaining 1 tbsp butter, sage, garlic, and lemon juice to hot skillet and cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, or until butter is foaming and sage is crackling.
Add butter mixture to butternut squash and crush squash to allow flavours to come together.
Crispy Shallots: In a large saucepan, heat oil to 350 F.
In a medium bowl, toss shallot rings lightly with cornstarch.
Add shallots to oil and cook until lightly browned, 2-3 minutes (they will continue to brown once removed from oil). While frying, be sure to move them around with a strainer/spider.
Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and sprinkle with salt.
Serve chicken over butternut squash and top with crispy shallots. Serve accompanied by Rice Dressing below.
Dried Cranberry and Pecan Rice Dressing: Bring chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan; add rice and return to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to simmer, and cook 20 to 25 minutes or until rice is tender and broth is absorbed. If your rice mixture includes wild rice it will need to be cooked longer. Cook according to package directions.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add liver and cook 1 minute, stirring often. Add onion, celery, apple, thyme, sage, salt and red pepper; cook 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring often. Stir in pecans, cranberries, parsley and warm rice and mix well.
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