Spiced Chicken Thighs With Curried Mashed Butternut Squash

PREP TIME: 15 minutes

COOK TIME: 60 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 75 minutes


October 2019

Pan roasted chicken thighs are the perfect weeknight treat. You get a layer of crispy skin, plus tender, bone-in meat. Here, we season them with a cozy mixture of cinnamon and ground ginger, then pair them with a butternut squash mash that has just a hint of curry flavor. You’ll cook the butternut squash and chicken in the oven simultaneously, and prep a simple, fresh parsley salad as you wait.


  • 1 large butternut squash (about 3 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 6 ounces each)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 small bunch parsley, washed and dried
  • 1 small shallot
  • Juice of ½ lemon (about 2 tablespoons)


  • Cutting board
  • Chef’s knife
  • Spoon
  • Sheet pan
  • Measuring spoons
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Large oven-safe skillet (cast iron is best)
  • Fish or pancake spatula (optional)
  • Small mixing bowl
  • Potato masher (or two forks)


1. Roast the squash.

Heat the oven to 425 degrees and fit two racks near the center. Using a large chef’s knife, cut the stem off of the butternut squash, then cut it in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds, and discard them or save them for a later use.

Place halves cut side-up on a sheet pan, drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and sprinkle with curry powder. Season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 50-60 minutes, until squash is soft and skin is wrinkled.

2. Cook the chicken.

Place chicken in a large mixing bowl. Season both sides of each thigh with cinnamon and ginger, then season with salt and pepper.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add chicken thighs skin side-down. Cook for 15 minutes, until chicken skin is rendered and crispy. (If skin starts to burn , turn the heat down to low.) Flip thighs using a fish or pancake spatula. Roast thighs in the oven with the butternut squash until cooked through, about 30 minutes.

3. Prep the parsley salad/

Pick the parsley leaves from the stems, saving stems for another use. Finely chop the shallot and place it in a medium bowl, with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil with lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Add parsley leaves just before you take the squash and chicken out of the oven.

4. Mash the squash.

Let the cooked squash cool for 5 minutes. Use a spoon to scoop flesh out of skin and into a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper, and mash with a potato masher or two forks.

5. Serve.

Serve each chicken thigh with a scoop of mashed squash topped with parsley salad.

Kids Can!

  • Measure spices.
  • Season butternut squash.
  • Pick parsley leaves.
  • Juice lemon.
  • Toss parsley salad.

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