A Publication of WTVP

Apple Cider Chicken with Apples and Butternut Squash

by Mary DiSomma |
cast-iron-chicken-2-mary-disomma-recipes-peoria-magazine (1)

Apple Cider Chicken with Apples and Butternut Squash

I love a good, cast-iron skillet dinner, everything cooking in one pan with all those flavors intermingling.

My apple cider chicken with butternut squash and apples fits the bill for the perfect autumn dinner dish. A sizzling hot skillet gives the chicken a browned skin, I use its juices to make a flavorful apple cider sauce, and then nestle diced butternut squash and apple slices around it. A 25-minute visit to the oven and one of my favorite farm dishes is ready to serve.

Visit your favorite farmers market to provide some local flavor, and remember to pick up a loaf of crusty bread. You’ll want to soak up every bit of that apple cider sauce!

  • Prep Time30 min
  • Cook Time35 min
  • Total Time1 hr 5 min
  • YieldServes 4
  • Course
    • Main Course
  • Cooking Method
    • roast
    • bake


  • 28 oz. boneless, skin-on chicken breast (three to four breasts)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2½ cups diced butternut squash
  • 1 large Honeycrisp apple, skin-on, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 tablespoon country-style mustard
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme for garnish



Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.


Place chicken breasts between paper towels and pat dry. In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon olive oil, paprika, cumin, pepper and salt. Smear the chicken breasts with the olive oil mixture to coat.


In a mixing bowl, combine the butternut squash cubes with the sliced apple and remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil.


Place a 10-inch cast-iron skillet on medium high heat for four minutes. Carefully place the chicken pieces, skin-side down, in the pan. Cook without turning for up to five minutes or until the chicken skin turns a nice brown color. Turn chicken and cook for two more minutes. Place the chicken on a paper towel-lined plate. Reduce heat to medium.


Melt the butter in the cast-iron skillet used for the chicken. Sprinkle in flour. Cook for one minute, whisking constantly.


Add the apple cider, mustard, maple syrup and soy sauce. Stir. Bring mixture to a simmer.


Place the chicken breasts, skin-side up, back into the pan. Disperse the squash and apple mixture evenly around the chicken.


Place the skillet into preheated oven. Roast for 25 minutes or until the chicken reaches 165 degrees.


Cut the chicken breasts into slices. Drizzle the apple cider sauce over the chicken and garnish with a sprig of fresh thyme.


Mary DiSomma

Mary DiSomma

Our chef lives in Oak Park and Cuba, Illinois. She is an author, publisher, philanthropist, podiatrist, entrepreneur, wife to Bill and mom to four adult children. She also appears on Peoria Magazine’s You Gotta See This! on WTVP PBS