We're throwing the chore list aside today, and taking a drive up into the hills to see the fall foliage. We plan to drive for a while and then stop for lunch in one of our favorite mountain towns.
In the meantime, here's a recipe I tried last night that was a huge hit with everyone. It involves a few more steps than my normal Friday night cooking (ordering pizza!) but Dan was gone this week and the weather has been nice and cool, so I felt like making something special. The aromas that filled the house while this was cooking were to die for!
Braised Chicken with Butternut Squash and Cranberries
I served this with egg noodles, but couscous would be a delicious side dish, too. This recipe is a revision from the Martha Stewart Cooking magazine.
1 small butternut squash, peeled, cubed and seeded
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
4 chicken leg quarters (2 1/2 pounds) split into drumsticks and thighs
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 red onion, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
2 Tbs. chopped fresh sage
4 tsp. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup dried cranberries
In a large Dutch oven, heat 1 Tbs. oil over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper and, in two batches, cook, skin side down, until skin is golden and crisp, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer to a plate; pour off fat from pot.
Add 1 Tbs. oil, squash and onion to pot, and cook until vegetables are beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add sage, flour, coriander, and nutmeg and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add broth and cook, stirring up and scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon, 1 minute. Nestle chicken, skin side up, in squash mixture, add cranberries, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, partially cover, and simmer until chicken is cooked through and squash is tender, 20 to 25 minutes.