Hi Friends! Every year I fall in love with autumn all over again, and I’m reminded why. I took a step outside and watched the rain fall on a big oak tree in our backyard while all the yellowed leaves fell to the ground. It smelled like dirt and leaves and those scented crayons that smelled like earthworms. There’s a kind of magic in the in-between-ness of autumn. If I could live in October forever, I would.
When a friend on Instagram wrote that she puts pumpkin pie spice on chicken, I had to try it! And what better way to go headlong into fall than to roast a pumpkin pie spiced chicken over a bed of butternut squash. It’s simple, and it’s the perfect warming recipe for cool weather and family around the table. Here’s how you make it!
Start with a five and a half pound bird. Don’t worry if yours is larger or smaller, you can simply cook it an additional 20 minutes per pound. Make sure you remove the giblets and pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Now, very carefully, pull up the breast skin from the bottom, careful not to tear it and place a pat of butter or two under each side. Add a little pumpkin pie spice and salt under each side.
Rub pumpkin pie spice and salt all over the chicken skin on both sides. To truss the chicken, tie both ends of the legs together with twine. Pull each loose end between the leg and breast and flip the bird over and tie a knot on the back. See below photo.
In a large roasting pan, quarter your onion and scatter the onion pieces in the bottom of the pan. Add a drizzle of olive oil to the bottom of the pan so the chicken doesn’t stick. Place the chicken over the onion pieces, breast side up. Place in a 450 degree oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, reduce the heat to 350 and bake for an additional hour and 50 minutes or 20 minutes per pound.
Peel the squash, remove the pulp with a spoon and dice into 1/2 inch cubes. Toss in a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil and a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice.
When there are 50 minutes left on the timer, nestle your cubed butternut squash around the chicken. Bake until chicken is done and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.
- 5½ lb whole chicken
- olive oil
- 1 yellow onion
- 2 tbsp salted butter
- 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice plus 1 tsp
- 1 tbsp kosher salt plus 1 tsp
- 1 butternut squash
- Preheat the oven to 450 F.
- In a large roasting pan or 9x14 dish, add a drizzle of olive oil. Slice the ends off the onion, halve, peel the skin off and cut into 6 pieces. Scatter the pieces on the bottom of the baking dish.
- Remove the giblets from the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Place chicken on a cutting board. Slice a couple times into the thigh, very deeply to the bone. Carefully, use your fingers to pull up the skin of the breast on one side and add a pat of butter under the skin. Also add a little salt and pumpkin pie spice. Do the same for the other breast.
- Rub the 1 tbsp of salt and 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice all over the outside of the chicken on both sides. Use twine to first tie the legs together at the ends and then place the twine ends between the leg and breast and flip the bird over, tying behind the back. This will help the chicken to cook evenly.
- Place the chicken into the oven and set a timer for 15 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 350 F and cook an additional 1 hour and 50 minutes (or if you use a smaller bird, 20 minutes per pound.)
- Meanwhile, slice the ends off a butternut squash. Peel the squash with a vegetable peeler or knife. Cut in half longways and scoop out the pulp and seeds. Cut the squash into 1 inch pieces. Place the pieces in a bowl and coat with 1 tsp of pumpkin pie spice and 1 tsp salt. Add a small drizzle of olive oil (about 1 tsp) and toss to coat.
- When there are 50 minutes left on the timer, add the squash to the dish all around the sides of the chicken. Cook the remaining time. Let the chicken rest 10 minutes before serving.