Friday, October 5, 2012

Farmers' Market Chicken Bake

Fall is finally heeeeerrree! I love it. Now we can get down to some serious hiking and camping without it being so hot outside that we feel as if we are going to melt. Fall is also a great time of the year to visit the farmers' market. The summer items like berries and melons move out and make way for delicious fall specialties like squash, sweet potatoes and apples.

Our trip to the farmers' market last weekend provided a fresh bounty of peppers, sweet potatoes, okra, butternut squash and apples. The wheels in my mind started turning (a dangerous thing) and I knew I wanted to make a dish with the butternut squash and apples, but wasn't sure what. I remembered the Exotic Cinnamon Spiced Chicken Bake that I made a few weeks ago and knew these ingredients would work perfectly with a similar recipe.

I mixed chunks of apple, butternut squash, onion and chicken with some spices and a few fresh herbs from my garden, topped it with a layer of bacon and baked it for about an hour. My kitchen smelled fantastically like Fall as it was baking! The flavor was amazing - the butternut squash and apples had a slightly sweet taste that paired well with the herb-infused chicken and salty bacon.

I realized this recipe could work with so many fun combinations of meat and vegetables. What combination would you like to see? Peppers, onion and sausage? Zucchini, yellow squash and chicken? Let me know if you have any ideas and maybe that can be my next creation! :)

Farmers Market Chicken Bake
Serves: 4
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 55 Minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 10 Minutes

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 apple (any variety), cut into 1-inch cubes
1 yellow onion, cut into 8 wedges
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp chopped, fresh thyme
1 tbsp chopped, fresh sage
1 tsp chopped, fresh oregano
1 tsp chopped, fresh rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste
6 slices bacon

Heat oven to 450F.
Coat a 13”x9” glass baking dish with cooking spray or olive oil and set aside.
Add chicken, apple, yellow onion and butternut squash to a large bowl. Toss with olive oil, spices and herbs until everything is evenly coated.
Pour chicken and vegetables into prepared baking dish.
Lay bacon slices evenly across the top of the dish.
Bake for 50-55 minutes, until bacon is crispy, chicken is cooked through and vegetables are beginning to brown.