This recipe is the epitome of keto low carb comfort food. Roasted vegetables tossed in sugar-free maple flavored syrup with warm fall spices. This one skillet meal is easy to prepare and is full of the flavors and aromas of the season. One Pan Maple Chicken with Delicata squash is a delicious nutritious meal everyone will enjoy.
One Pan Cast Iron Maple Chicken Recipe
As the leaves change color you know that it’s time for the produce section of the grocery store to fill up with different varieties of squash. Butternut, spaghetti and acorn get most of the attention but delicata squash is my personal favorite. The delicata squash is a medium size winter squash Its skin is not only beautiful with green and yellow stripes but it’s also edible. When roasted this squash develops a subtle sweetness perfect for pairing with pork or poultry. Delicata Squash is also known as a sweet potato Squash, Bohemian Squash and Peanut Squash. It’s name is derived from its delicate skin that doesn’t require peeling.
What is Delicata Squash and how do you prepare it?
In this recipe I sliced the squash into bite size pieces but Delicata can be halved and roasted in larger portions as well. You scoop out the seeds just as you would with any other gourd but don’t need to peel the skin. Because of its thin skin and smaller size this squash cooks very quickly Adding other veggies along with the delicata squash adds different colors and texture to bring this recipe together. Radishes, onions and peppers are a wonderful balance of textural contrast but you can use any combination you like.
Poultry or Pork?
Obviously I chose to use boneless skinless chicken thighs for this recipe. You can also use breast or bone in chicken depending on what you prefer. I’ve also used boneless pork chops or pork loin as well and it’s a fantastic option. The sweetness of the maple along with the roasted delicata squash definitely lends itself to the mild flavors of pork or chicken. I would stay away from beef in this particular recipe only because I don’t think the flavor profiles match.
Maple Flavored Syrup
Using a maple flavored syrup is a great way to add sweetness perfect for squash. I have tried a few different brands and so far the ChocZero brand is my favorite. The viscosity of the syrup is just right and it doesn’t have a bitter fake sugar taste. Pouring a little extra syrup on top gives the chicken the extra punch it needs to to subdue the spices in the rub. Raw honey would also be an option for an all natural version but will add a good amount of sugar.
Boursin & Pepitas??
So as I pulled the pan out of the oven and though the dish looked great I wanted to take things over the top. You know how I love different texture so I thought the addition of creamy and crunchy would be perfect. Boursin is a soft whipped cheese flavored with herbs and garlic very similar to cream cheese. I have a really tasty Bacon & Boursin Egg Casserole you should checkout. To act as the yin to the yang of the Boursin I sprinkled roasted pepitas to the casserole for a nice crunch. You could use hazelnut or almond slivers as well if you don’t like pumpkin seeds. If you don’t mind the extra carbs you might add some dried cranberries or pomegranate seeds to pair with the Boursin.
Cast Iron Comfort Food!
In the fall and winter I love simple dishes like this one. Simply chop up some seasonal veggies, season them aggressively and and some chicken thighs right on top. Roasted veggies have so much flavors as the natural sugars caramelize. The chicken develops a crust while sealing in the moisture making this recipe so flavorful. All this in a recipe that literally takes 10 minutes to prepare. The cast iron holds in the heat and dinner can be served right the pan.
How to care for cast iron pans
If you don’t have a Cast Iron Pan you need to. They’re versatile, easy to clean and you will have them for generations if taken care of. Cast iron is my preferred pan for searing and baking casserole because they hold heat so well. Taking care of the pan is fairly simple. There are cast iron scrapers you can buy to get any big pieces of food off then use a chain mail scrubber with warm water (no soap) to clean. Once the pan is clean dry it off with a towel. To season the pan use a few teaspoons of oil rubbed into the pan and heat for 5-10 minutes over medium heat. Let cool and put away for next time. This might seem like a lot of extra work but it’s well worth it. Once you clean the cast iron a few times it will become routine.
- 1.5 lbs Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
- 2 cups Sliced Delicata Squash
- 1 cup Quartered Radishes
- 1/2 cup Sliced Red Onion
- 1/2 Cup Sliced Mini Bell Pepper
- 8 Sage Leaves
- 1/4 cup Sliced Scallions
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 3 tbsp ChocZero Maple Sugar Free Syrup
- 4 oz Boursin Cheese
- 2 tbsp Pepitas Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- 1 tbsp Caribeque Calypso Kick Rub Seasoning
- 1/2 tsp Pumpkin Spice Seasoning
- Cut up all your veggies into bite size chunks, then toss in maple flavored syrup, 4 chopped fresh sage leaves, pumpkin spice seasoning and melted butter or ghee along with salt and pepper to taste. Pour veggies into 10 inch cast iron skillet
- Season the chicken thighs on both sides and place on top of the veggies. Roast at 425 degrees F. for 30-40 minutes until chicken is fully cooked
- Top with pepitas, scallions,remaining sage leaves and Boursin cheese. Drizzle maple flavored syrup over chicken thighs and brush to coat.
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