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Roasted Chicken Thighs With Delicata Squash

We have returned home after a wonderful food-filled weekend downtown.

Mother Nature has a calendar. She saw today was the first day of Fall and welcomed Oregonians with a cold, rainy, blustery day. We started the furnace for the first time in months.

Not that we needed any more food after our weekend of Feast Portland, but Melissa Clark posted a recipe in The New York Times the other day - Roasted Chicken Thighs with Delicata Squash - that sounded very delicious, very autumny and very easy. The recipe had the added attraction of using very few dishes and is baked in the oven (hands off).

Ms. Clark asks that lemon slices are boiled for a few minutes in water to reduce the bitterness, but I am too lazy. I just zested and juiced a lemon and used that in the marinating step with olive oil, chopped sage, coriander seed, salt and pepper.

While the chicken was marinating, I prepared the Delicata squash (which is closely related to a zucchini and doesn't need to be peeled, saving yet another step). A sauce of pure maple syrup, butter and chile powder is tossed over the squash rings. They are placed in the bottom of a baking dish, the chicken is nestled over the top of the squash and the whole thing is baked in the oven - interrupted mid-way with a sprinkle of chopped green onions.

I will add, if you have someone who is not a squash eater, this may be the perfect squash to serve (in pretty little rings, roasted with olive oil/butter), salt and pepper) to tempt them over to the other side? A "starter squash", so to speak.

All-in-all, I really liked the recipe. It was easy, especially since I skipped the lemon boiling step and goes together quickly. It is ridiculously inexpensive and if you don't have coriander seeds, don't buy coriander seed. I think they didn't impart thatmuch of a flavor boost. Dave really enjoyed this recipe and I will most-likely make it again. Keeper.

Plated, with pan juices drizzled over all

The New York Times also has a video of Melissa Clark preparing this dish. Find the link on this page.

  print recipe from The New York Times

I served the chicken with a not-very-colorful pear salad, served over a bed of slivered endive and dressed with only olive oil, salt and pepper. I marinated the pears in the olive oil for a few minutes before plating the salad and garnishing the pears with chopped hazelnuts and crumbled blue cheese. Everything in this salad - except the pepper and maybe the endive - came from Oregon. Two ingredients came from within a few miles of our house!

Until my next update, I remain, your rainy-day correspondent.