It’s funny and crazy how the food I eat now is so greatly different to what I used to eat before. I don’t always consciously think about it but when I do I think WOW! I mean there are things I eat and prepare today that never would have crossed my mind to eat even three years ago!
Since going paleo I’ve definitely become more adventurous with the things I eat and even the ingredients I cook with. When you don’t rely on things like bread and pasta to fill you up or store bought packaged food a whole array of ingredients are opened up to you.
At home I try to keep the meals I cook simple yet packed with flavour. I remember a few weeks ago shopping for spices since I either had to replace some or restock and the man behind me at the register said “doesn’t look like you’re going to be eating beans on toast with that lot”… uhhhhh yeh I think not! (p.s. I totally used to eat beans on toast before… isshhhh I know right!)
Anyway speaking of things I eat now and didn’t eat in the past, chicken was one of those things. Well let me clarify I used to each chicken but only the breast because duhhhh it was the leanest part and I would hardly ever eat the thighs or legs and would ALWAYS remove the skin. Mind you that chicken breast would be either eaten with pasta drowned in store bought pasta sauce or wrapped up in bread and again smothered in sauces! These days I happily eat all parts of a chicken… including the skin AND the organs (chicken liver anyone?) and I mean how good is crispy chicken skin!
So today’s recipe is dedicated to the eating good quality delicious food and not worrying about things like the lean-ness of chicken meat!
Crispy Chicken with Butternut Squash Mash & Sage
- 6 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs.
- Zest of one small lemon.
- Juice of half a small lemon (reserve other half for later).
- 1/2 cup olive oil.
- 1/2 Tbsp coarse sea salt (I use this one).
- 1-2 garlic cloves, minced.
- 1-2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted (this brand is great).
- 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes (mine weighed around 900grams/2lbs).
- A bunch of fresh sage leaves.
- 2 Tbsp grass-fed butter, divided (I use this one).
- Sea salt & pepper, to taste.
Place chicken thighs into a mixing bowl. Add the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, sea salt, garlic and some pepper. Stir to combine then cover and let marinate in the fridge for 30mins to an hour.
Remove the chicken from the fridge and allow to sit out while you preheat your oven to 220C/425F. Line a baking tray with foil.
Remove chicken thighs one by one using a tong and pat dry with paper towels. Place them as you go onto the baking tray.
Pour over the melted coconut oil then place in the oven to bake for 45-50mins.
While the chicken is baking, place a pot of water to boil then add the cubed butternut squash into a steamer basket and carefully insert into the pot. Cover and reduce the heat. Steam until the squash is soft and tender.
Once ready, remove the squash from the steamer basket and add to a blender or food processor. Add in a tablespoon of grass-fed butter and blend/process until smooth. Remove to a bowl and season with S&P, taste to check then set aside, covered to keep warm.
When the chicken is ready, remove it from the oven and let sit. While the chicken is resting heat up another tablespoon of grass-fed butter in a small skillet. Once the butter has heated up and is bubbling pick off some of the sage leaves and drop them into the hot butter (how many you want depends on you). Allow the sage leaves to cook until they crisp up. Place the crispy sage leaves onto a paper towel lined plate as they cook.
To serve, add some of the butternut squash to a plate, then top with some crispy chicken thighs and drizzle with some of the juice from the left over lemon half, add some of the sage leaves on top and enjoy!
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