I meant to write that Mocha Brownie Ice Cream Cake post last Friday and it got pushed to Tuesday. I meant to write this post yesterday and am getting to it today – I’d say that’s something of an accomplishment, wouldn’t you? Forget for a second that my bed sheets really do need to be changed, I haven’t checked email in bordering on 48 hours and let’s not even talk about how Pinterest deprived I’ve been. The important thing is that I’m here, writing to you, and it hasn’t even been a full week since my last post. Amazing.
I really didn’t want Fall to pass us all by (and really, can you get over how quickly it’s doing just that? I blinked back in September and suddenly, poof! It’s almost Thanksgiving) without sharing this very autumnal dinner that I made a few weeks back. Actually, rewind, I made this chicken dish for the first time 2 ½ years ago, and it took me this long to get around to trying it again with the few tweaks I had in mind. I also added a fantastic kale and apple side dish from Eat Well with Janel that for me just about stole the show – just note that although 2 pounds of kale seems like more kale than 2 people could possibly eat in one sitting, it cooks down a lot and I found myself wanting more by the time the plate was scraped clean.
The chicken dish itself is wonderful. The chicken stays tender, doused in a warm blend of fresh apple cider and cinnamon. The cranberries add a strong bite to the dish, and though you could certainly sweeten it with some sugar if that’s not your thing, I personally loved the contrast to the rest of the meal. This all sits on a bed of smooth ginger butternut squash, though sweet potatoes would be just as delicious and seasonal. I was nervous to take on three full recipes in one night, as I tend to get frazzled when I’m cooking for more than just myself, but this could not have gone more smoothly. It’s a very calm meal to make, and there’s no denying how important that is, at least for me, right now.
One Year Ago: Potato Tortilla with Tomatillo Guacamole
Cranberry Chicken with Butternut Squash
This is a perfect dish for fall that’s still a different option from all of the Thanksgiving-focused meals we get around this time of year. The chicken comes out juicy and flavorful, the cranberries are tart, and the butternut squash is smooth and sweet.
Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 45-60 minutes
2 pounds butternut squash
3 large chicken breasts, halved
freshly ground black pepper
½ tablespoon garlic powder
½ cup (spiced) apple cider
1 bag fresh cranberries
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ - 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
Preheat the oven to 350˚ Fahrenheit and grease a foiled baking sheet. Halve the squash and place the cut sides down on the prepared sheet. When the oven has preheated, roast for 45-60 minutes, until the skin is easily pierced with a fork or knife.
Meanwhile, season both sides of the chicken breasts with freshly ground black pepper and garlic powder, and place into a lightly greased 9x3 inch baking dish. In a separate bowl, mix together the cider, cranberries, cinnamon, and ground ginger, and pour that mixture over the chicken. Place in the oven along with the butternut squash and bake for 50-60 minutes.
When the squash is done, remove it from the oven and set aside to cool enough to handle. Scoop out the flesh and mash it in a bowl. Stir in the fresh ginger and almond milk, then return to the oven to heat it through once more, approximately 5 minutes.
PS I know this isn’t really a Simple Saturday post at all. I considered changing recipes for today when I realized I wasn’t going to have time to post yesterday, but I really didn’t want to wait any longer to get this post out to you!