I am such a sauce person! This roasted tomatillo and garlic sauce was absolutely incredible. The acorn squash is roasted on the sheet pan with the chicken and sauce ingredients, absorbing all of the flavors too. It would be a wonderful dish to serve as part of a Cinco de Mayo celebration. In fact, I might make it again on Cinco de Mayo! 🙂
This recipe was adapted from Bon Appetit, contributed by Claire Saffitz. I used boneless, skinless thighs instead of bone-in, and adjusted the method and roasting times accordingly.
12 oz tomatillos (about 6 medium)
8 garlic cloves
6 T extra-virgin olive oil, divided
10 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 3 lbs), trimmed
2 T adobo sauce, from 1 can chipotles in adobo
1 tsp honey
1 tsp ground cumin, divided
1 medium acorn squash
½ bunch cilantro, divided
lime wedges, for serving
- brown Basmati rice, for serving
- Place a rack in upper third of oven; preheat to 425°, preferably on convection roast.
- Start by assembling all the ingredients for the salsa: Remove husks from the tomatillos and rinse. Cut any larger ones in half and arrange on a baking sheet.
- Smash the garlic cloves with the flat side of your knife and remove skins. Add to baking sheet with tomatillos.
- Trim ends of scallions and discard, then cut scallions crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Add to baking sheet.
- Cut the jalapeño in half lengthwise, pull out stem and ribs, and place on baking sheet. Wash hands!
- Drizzle 2 T oil over vegetables; season with salt. Toss with hands to coat, then push vegetables to one side of baking sheet so they’re taking up about one-third of sheet; set aside.
- Cut the acorn squash in half and scoop out seeds with spoon. Cut each half in quarters again to make 8 equal wedges.
- Arrange squash on baking sheet on the opposite side of the baking sheet from the tomatillos (leaving room in the center for the chicken). (I placed each slice on its side so that it could absorb more pan drippings.)
- Drizzle squash with 2 T oil. Season with salt and sprinkle with remaining ½ tsp cumin.
- Place baking sheet with tomatillo mixture and acorn squash in the preheated oven for 12 minutes while you prepare the chicken.
- Pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towels. Season all over with salt.
- Whisk 2 T adobo sauce (from 1 can chipotles in adobo), 1 tsp honey, ½ tsp cumin, and 2 T oil in a large bowl until smooth.
- Add chicken to bowl and toss with tongs until coated.
- After the vegetables have par-baked for 12 minutes, arrange chicken, using tongs, in the center of the baking sheet.
- Roast until chicken thighs are browned on top and meat is cooked through (165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer), tomatillos are lightly charred on top, and squash is fork-tender about 20 additional minutes.
- Let cool slightly. While chicken is cooling, pick about ½ cup cilantro leaves from bunch, reserving stems, and set aside for serving.
- Transfer chicken and squash to a platter.
- Tip all remaining ingredients, along with ½ cup of pan juices, into a blender. (I used a Vitamix.) Add cilantro, stems and all; season with a bit more salt. Blend, thinning with more pan juices if needed, until smooth and pourable.
- Spoon salsa over platter and top with reserved cilantro leaves.
- Serve with brown Basmati rice and lime wedges alongside.
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