Since I just got back from a trip up north where fall is already well on it’s way, here’s another recipe in honor of the greatest season. I just recently bought this little non-Crock Pot slow cooker and I’ve been dying to try it out.
If you’ve never cooked with butternut squash before, I highly recommend it. It’s packed with fiber and vitamin A. But if your grocery store sells it in the already peeled and cubed form, I recommend getting it since this is a tough one to cut up and peel. Don’t worry though, it’s worth the extra effort.
Slow Cooker Chicken with Savory Apple and Butternut Squash Mash
Makes 5-6 servings
- 3-4 lb whole chicken
- 3 cups butternut squash, cubed (approx. a 2 – 2.5lb squash)
- 1 cup yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed and roughly chopped
- 1 large Fuji apple, chopped
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1/3 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp season salt (like Lawry’s)
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- In a large bowl, combine cubed butternut squash, chopped yellow onion, chopped celery, and chopped garlic. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine paprika, season salt, onion powder, black pepper and dried parsley. Set aside.
- Empty the inner cavity of the chicken but leave the skin on. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel, then rub the entire outside of the chicken with the dry spice mixture.
- Place a layer of the vegetable mixture in the bottom of the slow cooker. Stuff the chicken with some of the vegetable mixture and place the chicken on top of the vegetables in the slow cooker. Pour the remaining vegetable mixture on top of the chicken.
- Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 3 hours or until the chicken is cooked through. You could also cook for about 5-6 hours on low if you’re leaving it for the day.
- Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and set aside to allow the juices to settle.
- Remove the vegetables from the slow cooker and from the inside of the chicken along with roughly 1 cup of the liquid. Using a blender, puree the vegetables and liquid. (I used the soup setting to keep some texture – you could also add more liquid and puree it for a soup. You could also skip this part if you want to keep the veggies whole.) Remove the mixture from the blender and set aside in a large bowl.
- Chop the apple into bite sized chunks. Heat a pan over medium-high heat and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Add the apple chunks, then sprinkle with cinnamon.
- Cook the apple chunks until tender-crisp, about 7-8 minutes. Add spinach to pan and cover until spinach is wilted.
- Combine apple and spinach mixture with the butternut squash mash. Top with shaved parmesan.
- Remove skin from chicken and “carve” chicken – it should fall off the bone easily. Serve.
The butternut squash should be completely tender when it comes out of the slow cooker. I think it’s best mashed with the other veggies, but you can leave them whole and skip the apple and spinach part if you’re running short on time.
I had some issues getting the chicken out of the slow cooker on the first try. Good thing I used a liner!