I am all about grabbing and using what I’ve got on hand in my pantry whenever possible. This simple, healthy and flavorful meal of hearty chicken thighs and healthy butternut squash is a great example of what happens when I open my freezer and think “what the heck are we having for dinner???” OK, so it wasn’t my dry goods pantry that I raided for this recipe. It was my freezer. But I consider my freezer (and spice cabinet, and refrigerator) part of my larger pantry.
In recent months, I was fortunate to come across a coupon for Earthbound Farm Organic Frozen Vegetables. This was the type of discovery that reminded me to include healthy items on my grocery list. I will admit that at times my list looks like a who’s who from the not-so-good-for-me aisles, so I try to get other things in there that remind me to get healthy stuff in my kitchen.
But of course, as tends to happen, great items like this get piled on top of, moved around, and somehow lost in my freezer. Lucky me, I was feeling a purge coming on and in doing so found this perfect ingredient tucked in the back of the freezer. It was patiently waiting for me to get a burst of inspiration and get it on a plate. And so was born this delicious Roasted Butternut Squash with Chicken Thighs recipe!
First of all, I almost always have chicken thighs in my freezer. Now wait a minute–dark meat is not the enemy! The nutrients in dark meat make it healthier than chicken breast meat, so take a deep breath and embrace the thighs. Wait, that sounded a little odd. You know what I mean! And if they are the skinless and de-boned version, they are versatile beyond belief. Proof positive in this dish.
Second, Earthbound Farm Organic Butternut Squash is a perfect accompaniment to something like these chicken thighs. The sweetness of the squash is a great balance to the richer flavor of the dark meat. These frozen veggies are so versatile you could roast them like I did here, or puree them and serve them as a base for other veggies or starch you serve with the main attraction. I always have frozen veggies handy, and the Butternut Squash was exactly what I needed when I needed it. Yay!
While this could be construed as a Fall or Winter comfort food recipe, the spices and herbs I used helped brighten it up to be a winning dish any time of year. Fresh rosemary, freshly cracked pepper, kosher salt and a squeeze of lemon made this rich dish a super mid-week dinner. Get thee to your pantry and freezer and get yourself your own version of this Roasted Butternut Squash & Chicken Thighs dish!