Cumin Chicken with Butternut Squash Quinoa

  • Yield: servings


Caramelized Butternut Squash:
1medium butternut squash about 2 pounds
2tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1tablespoon packed light brown sugar
1teaspoon salt
1/4teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cumin Crusted Chicken:
2tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1tablespoon cumin
1teaspoon cinnamon
2teaspoons salt
1teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8-- bone in, skin on chicken thighs, uniformly sized, about 3 1/2 pounds
-- cooking spray
2tablespoons unsalted butter
1cup uncooked quinoa
1 3/4cups chicken broth
1/2teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2cup packed fresh flat leaf parsley
1/4cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
1/3cup extra virgin olive oil
2tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
2tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1tablespoon orange zest
2cloves garlic
1/2teaspoon salt
1/4teaspoon crushed red pepper
2tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
4-- orange slices


Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
To prepare caramelized butternut squash, peel squash and cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes. Place squash on foil lined baking sheet. Add butter, brown sugar, salt and pepper and toss ingredients together. Spread on pan in single layer. Roast until squash is tender, about 45 minutes.

To make Cumin Crusted Chicken, combine brown sugar, cumin, cinnamon, salt and pepper in a small bowl and mix well. Place chicken in a large shallow dish, add sugar and spice mixture. Coat both sides of chicken with mixture, pressing spices into meat.

Spray a large shallow roasting pan and rack with cooking spray. Place chicken on rack in pan and place in oven. Roast chicken 35-45 minutes or until internal temperature is 170 on instant read thermometer when inserted into thickest part of thigh.

To make quinoa, place butter in a medium saucepan over medium high heat to melt. Place quinoa in a large fine mesh strainer and rinse under cold running water until water is clear. Drain very well. Add quinoa to saucepan, cook and stir over medium high heat for 2 minutes or until toasted. Add chicken broth and pepper to saucepan with quinoa. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes and fluff with a fork. Add in caramelized butternut squash and all caramelized bits from the pan and toss together gently.

To make the chimichurri, place parsley, cilantro, olive oil, vinegar, orange juice, orange zest, garlic, salt and crushed red pepper in a food processor and blend until smooth, scraping sides down as necessary during preparation.

To serve, place quinoa and caramelized butternut squash on a platter. Top with chicken and drizzle quinoa and chicken with chimichurri. Garnish, as desired, with cilantro and orange slices. Serve.
Yield: 4 servings