Chicken with butternut squash and sage

This looks like Autumn in a bowl, which isn’t a surprise because the trees on my woofer walks are currently in their full multicolour glory and I’m massively enjoying watching them change on a daily basis. Its getting dark at 4pm, the temperature is forecast to struggle to reach double digits (C) next week, and this is exactly what I feel like eating. I pretty much threw it altogether, crossed my fingers, and was very happy indeed when it turned out to be utterly delicious. Serves 4 or more depending on how many chicken thighs you use and how much rice you cook.

Mmmm crispy chicken skin


2 large onions

2 courgettes

1 butternut squash

20g sage (when still on stalks)

2 to 3 tbsp olive oil

4-8 skin on bone in chicken thighs

300g basmati rice (75g per person)

2 chicken oxo cubes

20g ish butter


  1. Start heating your oven to 200C fan, and while that’s happening, top and tail your onions, peel off the skin and cut them into wedges, then throw them into a large roasting tin.
  2. Chop the courgettes into semi circles or rounds and throw them in too.
  3. Top and tail the butternut squash, don’t peel it, slice it down the middle lengthwise, remove the seeds then cut into semi circles, and, guess what? throw it all into the tin.
  4. Take the leaves off the sage stalks, finely chop them, chuck them in.
  5. Drizzle the whole lot in 2 tbsp ish olive oil, season well, then use your hands to toss it all together. Try to keep the squash at the top.
  6. Finally, trim off any gnarly looking weird bits from the chicken pieces, season them on both sides and place on top of the veg.
  7. Roast for 45 mins in your hot oven, then check to ensure the chicken is cooked through (when pierced the juices should run clear) and the veg is all nice and soft.
  8. While the chicken and veg roasts, wash your rice at least 3 times, put it in your saucepan if its not in there already, then add twice the volume of cold water – 300g rice therefore needs 600ml water.
  9. Crumble in the stock cubes and give it a stir, then pop in a good knob of butter.
  10. Put the lid on your rice pan and bring it to the boil, then reduce the heat to a really gentle simmer for 15-20 minutes. DO NOT TAKE THE LID OFF. If it looks like its pretty much there, then turn off the heat completely. But still don’t take the lid off.
  11. When you’re ready to eat, fluff the rice up with a fork and serve with the chicken and veg, spooning over the cooking liquid from the roasting tin.

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