Roasted Acorn Squash with Chipotle Chicken

2016-02-07
  • Servings : 4
  • Prep Time : 30m
  • Cook Time : 1m
  • Ready In : 1m

Ingredients

  • 2 acorn squash, halved and seeded
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened to room temp or melted
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper (we like spicy so we use a little more)
  • 1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken (we use thighs, but any chicken meat is fine)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lime (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • About 2-3 teaspoons chipotle hot sauce (use less for less heat) or you can also use canned chipotle chilies in adobo, minced (approximately 2)
  • 2 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cooked couscous or quinoa (we use quinoa cooked in chicken broth)
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup sharp white or yellow cheddar cheese, shredded (we use white cheddar)
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Method

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Step 2

Brush the insides of each acorn squash with 2 tablespoons melted butter and then sprinkle on the brown sugar, salt and pepper.

Step 3

Place in roasting pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until the flesh of the squash is fork tender.

Step 4

Don't forget to start cooking the couscous or quinoa about now!

Step 5

While the squash is baking, also bake the chicken. Brush 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil on the chicken and add a little salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.

Step 6

During the last 10 minutes of (the chicken's cooking), drizzle the chopped spinach, then add the spinach to the things baking in the oven (you can either use one side of the chicken's baking dish or use a separate one - we use a separate one), cooking the spinach until it is wilted, about 10 minutes.

Step 7

Remove the chicken and spinach from the oven and allow to cool 10 minutes.

Step 8

Once cooled a little, shred the chicken with two forks or your hands.

Step 9

This is about the time that the couscous or quinoa need to be close to finished cooking.

Step 10

In a medium size bowl combine the remaining olive oil, lime juice, garlic, chipotle sauce (or peppers), fresh cilantro, oregano, cumin, chili powder, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Step 11

Mix the spinach, chicken, cooked couscous and chipotle sauce together. Set aside.

Step 12

About this time, the squash should be done. Remove from the oven and brush the liquid in the center of the squash on all the flesh of the squash and coat it well. Do so until all liquid is incorporated fully into the flesh.

Step 13

Once the juice has been incorporated, stuff each of the acorn squash halves with the chicken mixture (try to put as much of the stuffing mixture as possible - evenly spread between the four pieces - even if it overflows the center hole). Top with shredded cheese and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Step 14

While the squash bakes, make the last piece of the recipe - the brown butter bread crumbs.

Step 15

Heat a heavy-bottomed sauce pan over medium heat, add the remaining butter. Melt butter over medium heat until just browned. Butter will melt, foam, and froth, then begin to brown along the bottom. As soon as it starts to brown, remove the butter from the stove and stir about 30 seconds. Stir in the Panko bread crumbs.

Step 16

Remove the acorn squash from the oven and top with browned butter bread crumbs. Optional: top with additional fresh chopped cilantro.

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