roasted butternut squash risotto and sweet 'n spicy honey dijon chicken

i saw this recipe here and knowing i had a butternut squash from my bountiful basket i really wanted to try it.. check out the recipe it's got step by step instructions.. very helpful..i had never made a risotto and wow was it good.. i can't wait to make another risotto.. 

i have made butternut squash and i usually cut it in half, scoop out the seeds and stringly stuff, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and bake in the oven for an hour or so.. but this time it called for peeling it, chopping it.. blah blah.. what a fricken pain in the arse.. i will be making this again and i will not be doing all that.. i will cook it my regular way and then scoop it out and dice it up.. it might not be as pretty but will save time. and aggravation.. anyway no matter the pain it was really good.. so good shell had it for 2 dinners and a lunch.. there is a small amount left over in the fridge i have a feeling there will be a fight to the finish who gets to eat it.. i served it with chicken which i am going to give you the recipe too but i didn't get photos.. bad robin.. i will update when i make it again.. because there will be a next time.. i got the idea for the chicken from this recipe here.. it's called "man pleasing chicken" when i told shell that's what we were having she laughed and rolled her eyes.. i did tweak my sauce a little bit and my cooking procedure.. but the inspiration was from her recipe.. i loved it i can't wait to make it again..

butternut squash risotto

prep time: 10
cooking time: 1.5 hour
servings: 8


1/2 whole butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced {or lazy mans way cut in half, seeded, and roasted and the flesh scooped out and diced}
olive oil
2 tblsps. butter
sea salt and pepper
1/2 tsp. ancho chili powder
1 shallot, chopped
1.5 cups aborio rice
6 cups {approx} low sodium chicken stock
1/4 cup milk or heavy cream {i used organic skim}
1/2 cup parmesan shavings
finely minced parsley, for garnish {optional}

heat your oven to 375 and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.. lay your cubed butternut squash in a single later out.. drizzle with olive oil and then salt, pepper and chili powder.. bake for about 30-40 minutes or until your squash is a golden brown and tender, but not falling apart..  and don't be tempted to eat half of it like i was.. it was soo good.. now again if you don't want to peel, seed and cube, just cut it in half, scoop out the seeds and stuff drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and chili powder and roast until soft.. then remove from oven scoop out the flesh and chop it up.. while it's cooking take a heavy bottom large skillet, i used my iron skillet and heat your butter over medium heat, then add chopped shallot and cook for about 2-3 minutes or until translucent.. i cooked mine a bit to long which why you can see "darker" pieces in my rice.. don't do that.. ha it's ok if you do.. but try not to.. now add the arborio rice and stir cooking for about 1 minute.. i had my chicken broth in a pot on the burner behind my rice on low heat and using a 1 cup measuring cup began adding my warmed broth into the skillet and stirring to combine and as the liquid would be absorbed adding another cup of the broth and stirring.. continue to do this and stirring gently as the broth absorbs into the rice and the rice becomes tender.. add salt and pepper a few times along the way.. taste the rice after about 5 cups of the broth has been added and absorbed  and check the consistency of the rice, it should be tender.. once it's to the consistency you like add your squash (i added another tsp. of ancho chili powder at this point too) and stir gently.. add milk or cream and parmesan shavings and stir to combine.. taste and if needed add more salt and pepper or even a little more chili powder.. sprinkle with minced parsley and serve immediately.

people pleasing chicken

prep time: 5 minutes
cooking time: 30-40 minutes
servings: 4-6


2 lbs. boneless/skinless chicken thighs
1/4 cup dijon mustard
1/2 cup honey
1 tblsp. low sodium soy sauce
1 tblsp. rice wine vinegar
1 tsp. sriracha
olive oil
salt and pepper

preheat oven to 450 degrees.. mix in a medium mixing bowl the mustard, honey, soy sauce, vinegar and sriracha and set aside.. season your chicken with salt and pepper.. in a oven proof pan over medium high heat on your stove heat two twirls around the pan of olive oil.. sear your chicken on each side until golden brown.. remove from heat and pour your mustard sauce over the chicken.. turning them to make sure they coated on each side.. bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 155-160.. 1/2 way through baste the chicken with the sauce.. remove from oven when done and allow 5 minutes to cool before serving.. i served over the butternut squash risotto and then added extra sauce from the pan over the top of all of it.. (tip: if you use chicken thighs with the skin and bone your sauce will be fatty when you take it out of the oven you would have to spoon off the extra fat if you want to use the sauce) it was really yummy!!!
enjoy and get cook'n!!!!


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