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RECIPE: One-Pan Chicken Dinner For Fall & Winter

Chicken & Fall Vegetables

Delicata Squash
[1] Winner, winner: quick and easy chicken dinner. [2] Delicata squash has an edible rind and a built-in scalloped edge (both photos courtesy Good Eggs).


Winner, winner chicken dinner!

This phrase is typically credited with originating on the Vegas Strip. Back in the 1950s, every casino had a $1.79 three-piece chicken dinner, which included a potato and a vegetable. At that time, a standard bet was $2. So if you won a hand, you’d have enough money to buy yourself a nice chicken dinner.

At the time, as in many places today, this simple chicken dinner was the cheapest dinner around. So you didn’t win the roast beef dinner.

But hey, don’t disparage a good plate of chicken and veggies. It’s one of America’s favorite meals.

This one is a winner because you make it all in one pan, as in: Winner, winner, chicken dinner with a side of delicata squash and brussels sprouts.

If you haven’t had delicata squash, it’s a great opportunity to try it. It may become a favorite.

  • Its orange flesh has a sweet and nutty flavor like acorn squash, but the skin is edible: no peeling required! That’s why it’s called delicata, Italian for delicate*.
  • It creates flower-like slices with great eye appeal for no extra effort.
  • Slices can be served atop green salads, with cottage cheese and/or Greek yogurt, topped with grains, potatoes, or other vegetables. It’s a winner.
  • You can roast it like any other winter squash.
    Thanks to Good Eggs, which delivers fine provisions in the Bay Area, for the recipe.


    You can have this on the table in 35 minutes. If you don’t like brussels sprouts, exchange it for something else.

    Ingredients For 2 Servings

  • 4 chicken thighs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 handful sage leaves, chopped roughly
  • 1 pinch chile flakes
  • ½ pound brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 1 delicata squash, cut in half lengthwise, seeds scooped out and cut into ½ half moons

    1. SEASON the chicken thighs on both sides and set aside.

    2. HEAT a large (10-inch) cast iron pan over high heat. When the pan is hot, add the chicken thighs skin side down and cook until the skin starts to turn golden brown, about 6 minutes. Remove the thighs and set aside.

    3. ADD a tablespoon of olive oil to the same pan. When the oil is hot, add the garlic, sage and chile flakes. Cook until the garlic starts to color, about 4 minutes. Add the brussels sprouts and squash and cook for about 5 minutes. When the vegetables start to soften…

    4. NESTLE the chicken skin-side-down in the vegetables. Turn the heat to medium and cover the pan. Cook until the thighs are cooked through and the vegetables are tender and caramelized, about 25 to 30 minutes.
    *In fact, the delicate skin is why no American over 20 years of age grew up with delicata squash. The thin rind is susceptible to mildew which rots the crop. Thus, delicata squash all but disappeared after the Great Depression. Thankfully, a group at Cornell University’s Department of Plant Breeding took it under their wing around 2000, and bred a variety that was resistant to most squash diseases.

    †A handful is one of those imprecise measures that says: Use how much you want. More or less of the ingredient is not critical to the recipe’s outcome.

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