Today: No humdrum chicken dinners allowed.
Chicken doesn't need to be boring. When combined with white wine, butter, herbs -- and more butter -- it can be indulgent, flavorful, and complex.
Chicken Kiev is a perfect example: It's a classic and well-loved recipe that will restore your faith in chicken dinners. But just because this dish is traditional doesn't mean that you shouldn't pair it with something unexpected. Butternut Squash with Sweet Spices, Lime, and Green Chilies packs enough heat and brightness to cut through the richness of the Chicken Kiev and make it new again.
Here's how to make it:
First, make the roasted butternut squash. Heat the oven to 400° F. Toss the lime slices with olive oil and salt in a small bowl. Transfer the squash slices to a baking sheet and brush them with garam masala and the leftover olive oil. Roast the squash for 30 to 45 minutes.
While the squash bakes, prepare a yogurt sauce and start the Chicken Kiev. Flatten and season the chicken breasts, season them with herbs and garlic, place a dab of butter in the middle of each one, and fold the breast tightly around it. Dust the chicken with flour and refrigerate for 30 minutes. When the squash is out of the oven, turn the temperature down to 300° F. Cook the chicken in a large, hot skillet coated with olive oil until they are browned nicely on all sides, then transfer them to the oven while you make the sauce.
Make the sauce on the skillet with wine and a little lemon juice, scraping up the nice brown bits from the bottom of the pan and adding a little extra butter if needed. Reduce the sauce until it is brown and shimmering, plate the chicken breasts, and pour the sauce over them. Finish the squash by garnishing the slices with yogurt sauce, sliced chilis, and cilantro. Slice lemon wedges for the chicken, then serve it alongside the salad.
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Serves 4 to 6, with leftover chicken
4 boneless chicken breasts
8 tablespoons butter
3 garlic cloves
Fresh basil leaves
1 cup white wine
1 medium butternut squash
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
2 1/2 tablespoons tahini
1 green chile, such as a jalapeño
Salt and pepper
You’re probably all set with flour, olive oil, salt, and pepper. If you’re running low, add those to the list, too.
Photos by James Ransom & Alexandra Stafford