Herbed Chicken and Squash tips
Cooking with herbs is key part of learning how to cook well and healthfully. Many traditional American meals rely on fat as the only way to bring flavor to a meal. But now that a variety of herbs are widely available in grocery stores – and a backyard garden if you’re lucky – we have a lot more options.
So, if you do have a private herb garden where you grow all of your favorites, that’s great, but not necessary for this herbed chicken and squash recipe.
Fresh versus dried herbs
Although I prefer to cook with fresh herbs, dried are perfectly respectable. Dried herbs’ flavor tends to be more concentrated, which is why you’ll see below that I suggest different amounts for each.
If you don’t use your dried herbs often, you may want to do a quick sniff test before you start cooking the herbed chicken and squash recipe – something that doesn’t have a smell probably doesn’t have a taste either.
Also feel free to play around with the proportions of the herb mix based on your tastes. If you hate rosemary, use basil instead. If garlic isn’t your thing, use a pinch of ground nutmeg with the spinach for this herbed chicken and squash meal.
Is this recipe right for your body type?
This dish is perfect for people with a cold or yang deficiency body type. The herbs, chicken, and spinach warm the body from the inside out.
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Herbed Chicken and Squash
- Cutting board
- Chef's knife
- Meat tenderizer
- Baking sheet
- Baking dish
- Paper towels
- 2 each chicken breasts organic free range is best
- 1 lb winter squash
- 2 tbsp fresh rosemary or 2 tsp dried
- 2 tbsp melted butter
- salt/pepper to taste
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley or 1 tsp dried
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary or 1 tsp dried
- 2 tbsp fresh basic or 2 tsp dried
- 2 tbsp fresh chives or 2 tsp dried
- ½ lb fresh spinach
- 1 tbsp butter may subsitute toasted sesame seed oil
- 3 cloves garlic
- Preheat oven to 425°.
- Wash spinach and chop if it is mature-leaf spinach (“baby spinach” can be used whole). Mince garlic cloves and set aside.
- Make sure that your chicken breasts are fairly uniform size and thickness. If not, pound the thicker parts to make thinner. You want the chicken to cook as evenly as possible.
- Dice squash into 1” cubes. Place on a pan (preferably with a Silpat cooking sheet so you don’t have to use more oil) and toss in 1 tbsp. butter and rosemary.
- If you are using any fresh herbs, mince them before mixing together with the remaining 1 tbsp. of butter.
- Rub the herb mix on the chicken breasts and then place them on the pan with the squash.
- Bake the chicken and squash for about 35-40 minutes or until the thickest part of the chicken has an internal temperature of 165°.
- After baking, let the chicken rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing.
- The spinach only takes a few minutes to prepare, so you can do so while the chicken is resting.
- Melt butter in a skillet over medium high heat.
- Heat garlic in the butter for 1 minute. The butter and garlic together should smell heavenly.
- Add in spinach handful by handful. It will cook down quickly and turn a bright green color.
- Serve chicken and squash on a bed of spinach.
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