Apple Cider Roasted Chicken with Butternut Squash Soup

It’s already been over two weeks since Lesley and I had our monthly dinner. Clearly it’s been a busy fall. October’s dinner was almost foiled due to our schedules and the annual change-of-season sicknesses that plague schools and daycares. Poor Lesley had to make the meal twice. This month, it looked as though the same thing was going to happen again. Maddie had a bout of sickness that sent me home from work at noon. It appeared as though she was having an allergic reaction to something, but after some conversations and photos to my aunt, it was decided that she had some sort of virus that wasn’t causing her to be sick but was causing a reaction on her skin. Appetizing, right? Lesley was also having some challenges that day and was caring for the older child of a neighbor who needed to take their youngest for an unexpected CAT scan. Scary. Determined, we kept the dinner as scheduled, and I packed up the things I would need to head over to Lesley’s house.




The dinner turned out pretty well. The chicken was very moist, which for most is an excellent thing. Lesley and I share a fear of food poisoning from meat, so rarely is our meat ever moist. In fact, it’s usually cooked until no moisture can be found, so this was an adventure for us. She was a brave soul and tried it first, announcing that it was indeed cooked thoroughly. Phew. I found this recipe on thelemonbowl.com, and it is definitely a keeper. The flavors are very fall. The apple cider adds a welcomed sweetness, and there is leftover for apple cider floats which is win-win.

Apple Cider Roasted Chicken and Butternut SquashApple Cider Roasted Chicken and Butternut squash

4 cups of butternut squash, peeled and cubed
12 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup apple cider
4 chicken breasts
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

1) Peel and cube the butternut squash.
2) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3) Scatter garlic cloves (with the skin on) and squash on the bottom of your baking dish. Pour apple cider on top.
4) Place chicken breasts on top of the garlic, apple cider, and squash.
5) Rub the chicken breasts with olive oil, cinnamon, and salt and pepper. Be sure to coat all of the chicken.
6) Cover chicken with foil and cook for 45 minutes.

The soup recipe comes from foodnetwork.com and is delicious! The Food Network version called for fontina cheese for the crostini, but, sadly, my Aldi does not carry fontina cheese, and I just wasn’t willing to spend $14 on a block of cheese (I don’t know if fontina cheese costs $14, but in my mind it does). So, I substituted with Gouda, which came fancily wrapped in red wax. Doesn’t red wax make all fancy cheeses equal? No, it doesn’t. A quick Google search when I got home told me that Gouda is not a substitute for fontina. That may be true, but it was still excellent on the crostini, paired well with the soup, and tasted delicious on its own. I consider it a success.

Butternut Squash Soup with Gouda Crostini

Butternut Squash Soup with Gouda Crostini

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (additional olive oil will be needed for drizzling purposes)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 1/2 pounds of butternut squash
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp ground sage
  • 1/2 baguette
  • 1 cup grated Gouda cheese

Instructions

    For the soup
  1. Peel and chop squash into cubes. This can take some time. I recommended prepping this the night before. Chop the onion and carrot.
  2. In a large stock pot, heat the butter and olive oil. Add the onion and carrot and cook until tender. Stir in garlic.
  3. Add chicken stock, squash, and sage. Bring to a boil and allow to cook for 20-30 minutes.
  4. Puree soup in a blender. You'll likely need another pot to put the pureed soup in. This recipe makes A LOT of soup. Heat the soup.
  5. For Crostini:
  6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  7. Slice bread on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with ground sage, if you'd like. Cover with cheese and cook in oven until the cheese is melted and the crostini is golden brown.
  8. Float on top of the soup.
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To go along with our fall meal, I purchased two flavors of Lepreuchan Premium Hard Cider. The Pomegranate and the Golden Cider. Both were delicious and both tasted great with the meal.

hard apple cider with gouda crostinis