Dinner tonight was inspired by a recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks “Nightly Specials” by Michael Lomonaco. I cook from this book very often for the reason that it has many wonderful recipes like: Philly cheese steak; Roasted corn chowder with shrimp and tarragon; Beef and porter stew; Moroccan lamb stew; Alpine baked pasta; Coconut-scented basmati rice; Paella with chicken and sausage; Toasted barley and butternut squash; Pan-roasted halibut with asparagus, fava beans, and thyme broth; Floribbean-style tilefish pan-fried with limes, chiles, tomatoes, and avocado; Steamed bass with lemongrass and chile-coconut broth; Bitter greens and honey almonds… The list goes on and on, you got the picture.
Anyway… let’s move on.
There is a recipe in the book for “Braised chicken with butternut squash, walnuts and sage” that I wanted to make. But I made so many changes in it that I think I can call it my own by now. I decreased the amount of spices to give the chicken a milder flavor than the usual Thanksgiving-y robust cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg combination so typical to recipes for the holiday season. And of course, like always, I made a few shortcuts, and added more vegetables. The result was terrific.
Makes 4-6 servings
1 onion, medium diced
4 carrots, peeled and cut to large pieces
½ butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced large
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced large
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cloves
½ teaspoon ground ginger
Salt and ground black pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 whole chicken legs, divided to thighs and drumsticks
2 tablespoon butter, cut to small pieces
Sage for garnish, optional
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a big pan, toss the vegetables with salt, pepper, the spices, and olive oil.
Generously sprinkle chicken on both sides with salt, black pepper, and olive oil. Add to the pan with veggies and mix so chicken gets some of the spices on it. Arrange nicely in the pan, chicken skin side up. Spread butter on top.
Add sage for garnish before serving.
Have a wonderful dinner.