When I was running a special culinary program at a local natural foods store, I found the basics for this recipe in a monthly magazine, as I recall. I tried it on our customers and they loved it so I posted it. I’ve since made some changes that makes it even easier to prepare.
First, you can make this recipe from scratch or take advantage of time-saving shortcuts. Instead of mashed or whipped squash bake and whip or mash sweet potatoes.
You can use canned cranberry sauce if you’d like, or use my recipe for mulled wine cranberry sauce, which will give this recipe a lot more flavor.
You can make yours however you wish. Not only is this recipe simple, it’s delicious and total comfort food on a cold, rainy night.
Maple Simmered Chicken with Cranberries and Vanilla
1–1/2 pounds butternut squash, cut in half, seeds and fiber removed and lightly coated with vegetable oil
2 – 3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
1 – 2 teaspoons cinnamon (I use Ceylon cinnamon, which is mild and slightly citrusy, so amount of cinnamon is based on taste and what type of cinnamon you’re using)
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 – 1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg or to taste
1 teaspoon Rain’s Choice pure Vanilla Extract
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
For Poaching Chicken
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 –1/2 cup chicken broth
1 pound chicken breasts
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place butternut squash on baking pan. Bake until the squash is knife-tender. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
In a medium sized pan, add chicken broth and thyme. Bring mixture to a boil on high heat; reduce to medium low and gently simmer chicken
Add chicken and poach it in broth for 10 minutes. Flip chicken over and cook for an additional 5 to 10 minutes based on the size of the chicken breasts. Cut into thickest piece of chicken to check for doneness; if still pink, flip chicken and cook for 5 minutes or until chicken is opaque throughout. Remove from broth and allow to rest 5 minutes before cutting it into slices.
Serve chicken on top of squash (or plate squash on the side if preferred) and with cranberry sauce over chicken or served on the side.
To save time, purchase fresh, pre-cut butternut squash. Cut any large pieces of squash in half. Follow the above directions for finishing the squash.