We actually had some cooler weather this week. Scratch that—we had cooler weather and RAIN. And I love a bit of rain, especially after 11 years of living in the UK, I’m happy when it rains here because it feels like it only happens for five minutes at a time. In England, jeez, it would literally rain non-stop for a month or more. I do think it actually rains more in Seattle than London, but I can’t tell you for sure—but that was a heck of a lot of rain.
And here it seems to only rain at night, which was irritating me this year. I like to be all cozy inside watching the rain on the windows, cup of tea in hand and, if I do go out, I break out the wellies and an umbrella. It’s hard to watch the rain in the dark, so I was very disappointed that the rain was so shy during the day. Which made Thursday morning’s events even more perplexing.
Undeterred by the weather forecast of thunderstorms this past Thursday, I got up early and drove myself up to my favorite running path by the sea, at Crystal Cove. The clouds looked amazing, like what you see in the Caribbean, and although I could see that there was rain out on the horizon, there was also blue sky behind me, over the land. With my extensive knowledge of both meteorology and seafaring, I decided that the rain was over with, to stop being a ninny and get my four miles in.
Off I started. It was a bit blustery, sure, and there wasn’t anyone else out on the path. Hmmm, that looks pretty dark up ahead, I thought. Should I be worried about that lightning? Long story short, at one mile I turned around when big, quarter-sized drops of rain started falling, and by the time I was halfway back to the car, the heavens had literally opened. I could barely see where I was going, and I was absolutely soaked to the bone.
The drive home combined all the fun of driving while leaning over to see through the only part of the windshield that had gotten defogged in time with hydroplaning, but I managed to get home alive. Luckily for me, the thunder had woken up The Husband, who greeted me at the door with a big beach towel and a hot cup of coffee. Don’t we love him?
All this rain and chill made it the perfect opportunity for me to turn the sad and neglected oven on and bust out the Le Creuset pot. I had one of our organic, free-range chickens in the fridge, and threw in some bacon, onions, garlic, Braeburn apples and butternut squash slices. The house soon smelled delicious, and one taste made up for running through the morning’s weather that I’m pretty sure was similar to what Noah dealt with as he was loading the ark.
And yes, this is a totally paleo dish, but you could leave out the meat and have a great side dish for your favorite meat alternative. The butternut squash and apple together were divine!
One-Pot Chicken with Butternut Squash and Apples
1 whole chicken, cut up into pieces (or use just chicken thighs)
4 slices of bacon, or 2 oz. salt pork, chopped
2 Braeburn apples, cored and cut into thick slices
1/2 butternut squash, peeled and sliced
1/2 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Sprinkle your chicken pieces generously with salt and pepper. Heat up your Le Creuset on the stovetop and cook the bacon until crispy. Remove them with a slotted spoon and set aside. Make sure the bacon fat is nice and hot; add the chicken pieces, skin side down. Brown all over and remove; set aside. Add the onions to the pot and cook for 3-5 minutes; add the garlic. Stir and cook for another minute. Add the apple and squash slices plus the reserved bacon, stir to coat.
Put your chicken back on top, cover the pot and stick into a 350° oven for about an hour. Check to make sure your chicken is cooked through before serving.