10.12.20 Meal Prep Monday: Chicken Thighs with Apples and Butternut Squash

The attempt to use up all my apples continues with this meal prep: Chicken Thighs with Apples and Butternut Squash! It’s not a combination I’ve heard of often, but it’s honestly SO GOOD. There’s the crispy, juicy chicken thighs with the soft, sweet apples and butternut squash, all topped with honestly the best gravy I’ve ever made, all with some thyme throughout.

The biggest key to this one is season every step of the way! Anytime something new is added to the pan, add a bit more salt, and taste as you go. If there isn’t enough salt, the whole thing will feel a bit flat. This honestly is true for anything you’re cooking – don’t be afraid of the salt! It’s much harder than you think to over-salt food, and if you do it just once then you’ll learn how much is too much and you’ll never do it again.

This one comes together pretty quickly after you’ve gotten everything chopped up! You’ll want to use a relatively large pan – I started with my 10 inch carbon steel pan and quickly realized that my 12 inch cast iron pan was the proper choice for this with it’s taller sides and more surface area. But get your pan good and hot, then get some color on the skin side of the chicken thighs. Don’t crowd your pan when you do this – take your time, do it in a couple of batches. If the pan is crowded you’ll steam the chicken instead of getting it crisp and that’s not what you want šŸ™

Once the chicken is cooked and is waiting on the side, the squash and onion join the party until they’re starting to get soft, then add the apples and some thyme and cook for a couple of minutes. Nestle the chicken back on top and pop the whole thing in your oven for 10-15 minutes.

From there, the last step is making the amazing gravy! Evacuate the chicken, apple, and fruit from the pan and set aside. Add some butter and flour to the remaining juices, add some stock, mustard, and honey, then cook until thickened. Finish with some additional thyme and you’re all set!

Enjoy this one, and don’t be afraid to mix up the spices and veg to make all kinds of combinations!

Chicken Thighs with Apples and Butternut Squash


  • 4-6 boneless chicken thighs
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 large apple, roughly chopped
  • 1 small butternut squash, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 Tbsp thyme, divided
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1 C veg or chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • salt and pepper, to taste

How to do it

  1. preheat your oven to 450*. heat a large, tall sided pan over medium high heat
  2. season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. add olive oil to the pan. working in batches, add the chicken, skin side down, for 4-6 minutes until golden brown. flip and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, then remove to a plate. set aside and repeat with remaining chicken.
  3. add the squash and onion to the pan. season with salt and pepper, then cook until they’re starting to soften. a fork should go in relatively easily but it should still face a bit of resistance
  4. add the apples and half of the thyme. stir, then nestle the chicken, skin side up, among the veg. put into the oven and cook for 10-15 minutes until the chicken reaches 165* and the veggies are soft
  5. evacuate the chicken and veg from the pan, set aside on a serving platter. over medium heat, add the butter to the pan drippings, then whisk in the flour. let that cook for a minute or two, then add the broth, mustard, and honey. bring to a simmer and cook until thickened
  6. add the thyme, then taste and adjust the seasoning as desired
  7. pour gravy over the chicken and veg if eating immediately, or put in a separate container if using as meal prep.
  8. enjoy!

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