Pan -Roasted Chicken with Apples, Sage, & Cider Pan Gravy
Yield: 4 servings
3-3 ½ lb. whole chicken, backbone removed (see below)
1 small bunch fresh sage leaves
Kosher salt, cracked black pepper to taste
2 large firm apples, skin-on, cut into thick wedges
1 Tbl. unsalted butter
1 ½ Tbl. flour
1 c. fresh apple cider
½ c. chicken stock
Butterflied or Spatchcocked Chicken = removing the backbone completely so the chicken lays flat for quick, even, moist roasting or grilling. Place the chicken breast-side up on a cutting board and use a heavy knife to carefully cut along both sides of the backbone. Remove backbone completely and press the center of the bird firmly so it lays open as flat as possible (or ask your butcher to butterfly the chicken for you). Note: chicken pieces including whole legs, bone-in thighs or breast can be substituted.
Preheat the oven to 400. Pat the chicken dry and carefully loosen the skin with your fingers to create pockets. Place some of the whole sage leaves underneath the skin (reserving some herbs for the sauce) and season both sides of the bird generously with salt and pepper. Heat a 12” heavy-bottomed skillet on the stove over medium-high heat until the pan is very hot (cast iron works well here if you have it). Lightly coat the hot skillet with vegetable oil and place the chicken skin-side down in the pan. Wrap a smaller heavy skillet (or new brick from the hardware store) with double-thick tinfoil and place on top of the chicken to weight it down. Cook the chicken without moving for 15-20 minutes over medium-high heat until the skin is deeply browned and easily lifts easily from the bottom of the pan without sticking (check after 15 minutes to make sure the heat setting is good). Turn the chicken - careful not to tear the skin - and add the apples to the skillet. Place the pan in the oven for 15-25 minutes or until the thickest part of the leg reads 170 on an instant-read thermometer.
Remove from the oven and use a spatula to transfer the chicken & apples to a plate, tenting with foil. Place the skillet back on the stove over medium heat and add the butter to the pan juices. Add the flour and cook for 30 seconds before slowly whisking in half of the cider. Whisk continuously, scraping all the flavorful bits from the bottom of pan, and add the remaining cider along with chicken stock and 4-5 whole sage leaves. Simmer the sauce for 2-3 minutes or until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, and taste for final seasoning. Cut the chicken into halves or quarters and serve with the roasted apples and pan gravy.
Maple & Spice Roasted Farm Squash
Yield: 5-6 servings
3-4 lb. (about 2 medium) mixed winter squash (such as acorn, buttercup, kabocha, red kuri, blue hubbard, or sugar pumpkin)
¼ c. vegetable oil
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. kosher salt, or more to taste
½ tsp. sweet paprika
¼ tsp. smoked paprika*
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper*
*In place of the smoked paprika and cayenne pepper, ¼ tsp. chipotle powder can be used.
½-2/3 c. pure maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 400 and lightly oil a baking sheet. Cut the squash in half, remove the seeds, and cut into 2” thick wedges (skin remains on). In a large bowl combine the ¼ cup vegetable oil with all the seasonings and toss the squash pieces with the mixture to thoroughly coat the flesh. Arrange the squash in a single layer cut-side down on the baking sheet and roast for approx. 20 minutes or until beginning to get tender, turning the pieces once or twice during cooking. Remove from the oven, drizzle over the maple syrup and continue roasting for another 10- 15 minutes until completely tender and glazed.
Recipe Tip: It’s nice to use a variety of different, colorful squash!