Chicken Halves Roasted over Squash

  • Substitute 2 medium leeks, halved lengthwise, cleaned, and thinly sliced, for the onion.
  • Add one 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry, with the squash.
  • Substitute any hard winter squash such as blue hubbard, butternut, or kabocha for the acorn squash.
  1. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  2. 1 medium onion, chopped
  3. 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
  4. 1 large acorn squash (about 2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into very small 
  5. 1⁄2-inch cubes
  6. 1 tablespoon stemmed thyme or 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  7. 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  8. 1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  9. One 4- to 5-pound chicken, giblets and neck removed, then split in half from tip to tail
  10. 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  11. 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper; cook, stirring frequently, until soft and aromatic, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the remaining tablespoon of butter, stir in the squash, and cook, stirring once in a while, until slightly oftened at the edges, about 4 minutes.
  • Stir in the thyme, salt, and pepper; cook until aromatic, about 15 seconds. Mound the mixture in the center of a 13 × 9-inch baking pan.
  • Use the two halves of the chicken to form a teepee skin side up over the vegetables. Make sure no vegetable is uncovered.
  • Whisk the mustard and maple syrup in a small bowl. Brush over the skin.
  • Bake until golden until a meat thermometer 
  • inserted in the thigh registers 165°F or 180°F, between 1 hour and 1 hour 20 minutes. Transfer the chicken halves to a cutting board; let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before carving and serving with the vegetables.


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