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Winner, Winner . . .

Two recipes for the price of one here (actually three. . .), since they all complimented each other so well I don't think I'll ever make one without the others. All inspired by Ryan who allowed me to be his sous chef for the night. Whenever I visit Vail, we show each other recipes we have found - excited to try new things. It was a 14-hour drive with the dogs this visit, but sure enough, the next morning Ryan pushed his phone in my face to reveal our Saturday night projects: French Onion Chicken AND Maple Roasted Butternut Squash on a bed of whipped ricotta. . . Both had run through my foodie emails and blogs in the past month; I was so excited.


1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs

Dried oregano

Dried thyme

Black pepper

2 tbsp olive oil

1 yellow onion, sliced

1 1/2 cups beef broth

1 French onion soup seasoning packet

1/2 tsp white sugar* (Ryan didn't actually use any sugar.)

1 cup shredded gruyere cheese

Fresh thyme

~ Season both sides of your chicken thighs thoroughly with the oregano, dried thyme, and black pepper.

~ Add olive oil to a hot skillet on the stove over medium high heat.

~ Sear the chicken thighs for 2-3 minutes on both sides then remove.

~ To the same skillet add the onion and sauté for 10 min until soft & browned.

~ Deglaze the skillet with 1/2 cup beef broth.

~ Reduce the heat to low and add the remaining beef broth, seasoning packet, & sugar.

~ Combine and simmer.

~ Next add the chicken thighs back in and simmer for about 5-8 minutes until cooked through.

~ Add the shredded cheese to the chicken thighs and cover until melted.

~ Garnish with fresh thyme and serve!

For the squash:

1 medium butternut squash, peeled/halved/seeded

5 cloves garlic, sliced

2-3 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp nutmeg

2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary

4 pads butter

Maple syrup

For the whip:

2 oz soft goat cheese

3/4 cup ricotta cheese

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp lemon zest or orange zest

Squeeze lemon juice

1/4 tsp salt


*** We added a pinch of crushed red pepper. Cut the acid from the lemon. . .


Chopped dates (3-4)

Chopped parsley (2-3 tbsp)*

We didn't use this, and it didn't need it.

Sunflower seeds (1-2 tbsp)*

We didn't use this, but I might try pepitas or roasting the butternut squash seeds (Ryan thinks this would be overkill.)

Olive oil

~ Preheat the oven to 425. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper, drizzle with olive oil and set aside.

~ Place the squash on a cutting board with two wooden spoons or chopsticks on either side of the squash halves and make thin slices throughout. Repeat for the second half. Use a fork to open some of the slices and stuff the halves with the garlic. Drizzle and brush with oil, then season with the salt, pepper, nutmeg and fresh rosemary. Place in the oven for 45 minutes (cover if the garlic starts to brown).

~ After 45 minutes, remove, then top with a few pads of butter and drizzle with the maple syrup. Place back in the oven for 10-15 minutes.

~ Make the whip. Add the goat cheese, ricotta, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper to a food processor. Process until smooth.

~ Spread out the whip, top with the squash and dates. . . Drizzle with olive oil.

**may need more cooking time depending on the size of the squash**


BONUS RECIPE: I had been wanting to try to make Fry Bread for months since watching Rip make it for Beth on Yellowstone. Then had it for dinner this week in Missouri with my Aunt Anne who told me she just used canned crescent dough to make them. I was on a mission to find one from scratch. After a morning fail round of it, we used the oil again for a BETTER BATCH with the FRENCH ONION SAUCE and the RICOTTA WHIP.

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup hot milk

1/2 cup hot water

Oil for frying

~ Nuked the water and milk together in a measuring cup.

~ Mixed the dry ingredients together. (DO NOT SHORT THE SALT!)

~ Mixed in hot liquid with a wooden spoon until it all JUST came together.*

Ryan offered the food processor, but you don't want to overmix the flour. Do it by hand!

~ Formed a ball and covered for at least ten minutes.

~ Bring an inch of oil (I used vegetable.) to 375 degrees.

~ Divided the ball into ten sections and rolled each ball flat.

~ Here's where I went wrong the first time: I rolled them too thin, and they were too thin and crispy. YOU WANT THESE TO HAVE A DOUGHY PUFFY INTERIOR. SOOOOOO. . . . roll them to about 1/4 inch thick.

~ Drop in oil for 30 seconds a side or desired brownness.

This whole meal will go down as the perfect blend of ALL THE THINGS.



Frankie's Olive Oil

Williams Sonoma Croissants

Joe's Stone Crab Claws

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