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Sheet pan chile-lime chicken is roasted with kuri squash for a simple, flavorful all-in-one dinner.
Lately I’ve been spending my time staring out my patio door, coffee mug in hand. Dead, wet leaves from the myriad trees in our yard gather in clumps, waiting to be gathered by nesting birds or stuffed into trash bags. With the end of the season comes me thinking too much about the end of other things.
Everything has felt too fragile these days. Cooking has been something to do, to keep myself busy and not fretting. I try to not settle too much on my low emotions, so that I don’t fall into that pit and get stuck a while.
But in recent days there has been so much emotion shouting out in the world, stopping us in our tracks and trying to get us to claw at each other to be heard. To say it’s all overwhelming would be quite the understatement.
So I’ve been rolling up my sleeves, mixing and sautéing and baking. Creating. Feeding. Trying to remember that those leaves will turn into food for the worms, into flowers when the spring returns. Knowing that, at least for now, I have children to comfort and who comfort me in return.
Sheet pan chicken is one of those dishes to make when you need something quick but flavorful. Using chicken thighs from a local farm and a giant red kuri squash, as well as a few other ingredients you might already have on hand, the dish comes together in moments and roasts while you prepare a salad or help with a bit of homework.
Similar to cooking a whole chicken or turkey over vegetables, the fat from the chicken thighs drips down and flavors the squash, making it succulent and so tender you can eat it with a spoon.
I spiced up the chicken a bit with lime juice, adobo sauce, garlic, and cilantro. You can skip the adobo if you like and use some ground chile powder or crushed red chile flakes if you like; just be sure to adjust for your own heat preference.
The hardest part of this dish is slicing the kuri squash. Using a large, sharp knife will make this a bit easier, but take care to keep your fingers out of the way as you slice. I speak from experience here. If you don’t have a kuri squash, any hard winter squash will do.
Sheet Pan Chile-Lime Chicken and Kuri Squash
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons sauce from a can of chipotles in adobo
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 garlic clove, pressed
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 red kuri squash
- 2 pounds chicken thighs
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- In a shallow bowl, whisk together lime juice, olive oil, adobo sauce, salt, garlic, cilantro, and black pepper. Set aside.
- Slice kuri squash in half. Scoop out seeds and membrane, then slice each half into wedges approximately an inch thick. Arrange wedges on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Dip each chicken thigh into the sauce mixture and place on top of the kuri squash.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes, until skin on chicken is crisped.