The addition of butternut squash and a fresh orange makes this braised chicken company worthy. Round out the chicken-and-vegetables meal with rice steamed in the microwave, and your dinner prep is complete.
8 skinless chicken thighs
Kosher salt and pepper
2 onions, quartered
1 pound small red potatoes
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
12 cloves garlic, peeled
1 orange, cut into 1/4-inch rings
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon honey
8 sprigs thyme
How to Make It
Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. In the bowl of a slow cooker, combine the chicken, onions, potatoes, squash, garlic, orange, broth, honey, and thyme. Set the slow cooker to high and cook, covered, until the vegetables are tender and the chicken is cooked through, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Divide the chicken mixture into individual bowls.
If You Don't Have a Slow Cooker: Heat oven to 325° F. Follow the recipe above using a Dutch oven or large casserole. Bake, covered, until the vegetables are tender and the chicken is cooked through, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
This recipe was tested in a 6-quart slow cooker. Because different models cook at different rates, the cooking time below is presented as a range. Check for doneness at the low end of the range (but not before, as the escaped heat will significantly slow the cooking). If the food is not done, cover and cook to the end of the suggested time range. If using a slow-cooker smaller than 6 quarts, the cooking time may take an additional hour or more, and results may vary.
Some reviewers complained that it was very bland/bitter. I think the bitter comes from orange peel that has been given a wax coating. Use an organic orange to avoid this.
As far as bland, adding 2 tsp. of coriander plus another 1/2 tsp. pepper solved that problem nicely. If you really wanted heat, you could probably add cayenne pepper as well.
I didn't have 3 hours but really wanted to make the dish. So I boiled and slighty mashed multi-colored potatoes (otherwise the dish would have been so ugly), cut and sauteed boneless skinless thighs with pressed garlic and chopped onion, and roasted the butternut squash. Then I threw everything into a dutch oven with the other ingredients (sans the orange peel) and let it simmer for 30 minutes or so. Served with quinoa and green beans. It was very tasty and satisfying. Great with a nice red wine.
I didn't have chicken so I substituted Pork tenderloin, and it turned out great! The butternut squash had a bitter flavor from the oranges, so next time I would just include the broth, onions, garlic and seasoning and roast the squash. Or leave out the orange peel. Overall, the meat was a hit and even the kids liked it (6 yrs and under). I'll definitely try it again.