Loop Sunday: Apple Cider Chicken with Butternut Squash

Apple Cider Chicken with Butternut Squash Welcome to the aromatic realm of Apple Cider Chicken with Butternut Squash. If you’re a fan of comfort food with a hint of sophistication, you’re in for a treat. This article is your gateway to mastering this delectable dish, packed with flavour and warmth. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a novice in the kitchen, our step-by-step guide will have you serving up a culinary masterpiece in no time.

Join us for this Sunday’s lunch as we showcase a delightful dish: apple cider chicken with butternut squash. This hearty meal is prepared in just 40 minutes, making it a quick and easy one-pan delight that’s bound to be a crowd-pleaser. You can find the full recipe from Ahead of Thyme below.”

Preparing Your Ingredients

Preparation Time: 40 minutesServings: 5-6


  • 5 boneless, skin-on chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ½ tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup apple cider (not apple cider vinegar)
  • 2 tablespoons softened butter
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 cups butternut squash, diced into ¼-inch cubes (fresh or thawed from frozen)
  • 1 apple, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 420°F (215°C).
  2. Prepare the Chicken: Pat dry each chicken breast with a paper towel to ensure they are completely dry before adding seasoning. This helps create extra crispy skin when searing and roasting.
  3. Season the Chicken: In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of olive oil, paprika, salt, and pepper. Mix well and generously smear this seasoning mixture over the chicken breasts. Let them rest on a clean plate for at least 15 minutes.
  4. Sear the Chicken: Heat an oven-safe or cast-iron skillet on the stove for 5 minutes over medium-high heat. Once the skillet is sizzling hot, place the chicken breasts skin side down and sear until the skin turns brown, about 4-5 minutes. Transfer the chicken breasts to a plate to rest.
  5. Prepare Apple Cider Sauce: In the same skillet, reduce the heat to medium and add apple cider, softened butter, mustard, brown sugar, and soy sauce. Stir to combine. Bring the sauce mixture to a simmer and stir until it forms a smooth texture. Remove from heat and transfer the chicken breasts back to the skillet with the skin side up.
  6. Prepare Butternut Squash: In a large mixing bowl, combine butternut squash, sliced apples, chopped thyme, and the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Toss to combine. If using frozen butternut squash, make sure to defrost first and pat it dry to remove excess water. Transfer the butternut squash and apple mixture to the skillet, spreading it around the chicken.
  7. Bake: Transfer the entire skillet into the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes until the chicken’s skin is crispy and golden brown, and the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F (74°C) on a meat thermometer.
  8. Serve: Place the chicken and butternut squash on a plate and drizzle some of the apple cider sauce from the skillet on top. Enjoy your meal!

Apple Cider Chicken with Butternut Squash

Apple cider chicken with butternut squash is a delightful dish that combines the savory flavors of chicken with the sweetness of apple cider and the earthiness of butternut squash. Here’s a simple recipe for you to try:


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into cubes
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish


  1. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large skillet or pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the chicken breasts to the skillet and cook until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.
  4. In the same skillet, add the chopped onion and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional 1 minute.
  6. Add the butternut squash cubes to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes, or until slightly softened.
  7. Pour in the apple cider and chicken broth, and stir to combine.
  8. Add the dried thyme, rosemary, cinnamon, and nutmeg to the skillet. Mix well.
  9. Place the browned chicken breasts back into the skillet, nestling them into the squash and liquid.
  10. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and let it simmer for about 20-25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the squash is tender.
  11. Check the seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper if needed.
  12. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley before serving.

Serve this delicious apple cider chicken with butternut squash over rice, quinoa, or couscous for a complete meal. The combination of flavors creates a comforting and satisfying dish that’s perfect for the fall season. Enjoy!

The Main Event

Searing the Chicken

  1. Pan Searing: Heat a pan and sear the marinated chicken until it’s golden brown on both sides.
  2. Adding the Aromatics: In the same pan, add sliced onions, fresh rosemary, and thyme to create a fragrant base.

Simmering in Apple Cider

  1. Introducing Apple Cider: Pour a generous amount of apple cider into the pan. This will be the foundation of your sauce.
  2. Reducing and Glazing: Allow the cider to reduce and create a luscious glaze that coats the chicken.

Creating a Masterpiece

Combining Chicken and Butternut Squash

  1. Bringing It All Together: Add the roasted butternut squash to the pan, letting it absorb the flavours of the chicken and apple cider.
  2. Balancing with Maple Syrup: A touch of maple syrup adds a delightful sweetness that harmonises with the savoury elements.


How long should I marinate the chicken?

The chicken should marinate for at least an hour, but longer marination enhances the flavor.

Can I use bone-in chicken for this dish?

Yes, bone-in chicken can be used, but it may require slightly longer cooking time.

Can I substitute maple syrup with honey?

Yes, honey can be a substitute for maple syrup, offering a different flavor profile.

What should I serve with Apple Cider Chicken with Butternut Squash?

This dish pairs wonderfully with a side of steamed vegetables or a fresh salad.

How do I know when the chicken is cooked through?

Use a meat thermometer to ensure the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).

Can I make this dish in advance?

Absolutely, you can prepare the dish in advance and reheat it when ready to serve.


Apple Cider Chicken with Butternut Squash is a culinary masterpiece that combines the rich, earthy flavours of butternut squash with the sweet tang of apple cider. Whether you’re looking to impress guests or create a memorable family meal, this dish is sure to delight. So, don your apron and let your culinary journey begin. Bon appétit!

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