This recipe, created with the convenience of sheet pans in mind, has an effortless charm. Crisp-skinned chicken thighs and caramelized butternut squash get smokiness from chipotle and nuttiness from sesame seeds. The sweet flavors of the fennel and squash play off each other, while a generous sprinkling of lime juice adds a hit of acid for contrast. Feel free to swap butternut squash with your favorite fall squash. You can peel it before you cook, but you can also leave the skin on. Once roasted until tender, it’ll release the squash easily when you eat it.
Preparation of Sheet-Pan Chicken With Squash, Fennel and Sesame
Step 1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Trim and discard the ends of the squash, and halve the squash lengthwise. Scrape out and discard the seeds and pulp, then slice 3/4-inch thick. Place slices in a large mixing bowl.
Step 2. Pat the chicken thighs dry with clean paper towels and add them to the squash.
Step 3. In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, lime juice, coriander, sesame, fennel and chipotle. Drizzle the mixture over the chicken and squash. Season with salt and toss to coat evenly.
Step 4. Spread the squash in a single layer on a large rimmed sheet pan. Place the chicken thighs skin-side up on top of the squash and roast until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees and the skin of the chicken and the squash turns golden brown, at least 30 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes.
Step 5. Transfer the chicken and squash to a serving dish. Sprinkle the cilantro on top and serve immediately with lime wedges on the side.