Ode to Parents + Roasted Cranberry Chicken & Butternut Squash

Friday, November 15, 2013


I never did a post on my parents visit after John Shea's birth, and have been meaning to. They got here right after we came home and immediately, after flying literally across the world, got to work loving on us for two weeks. My Mom took it upon herself to do all the cooking -- every single meal!! -- and all the cleaning, while my Dad {the Baby Whisperer} walked about 10,000 laps around our living room with John each day, and deemed himself President of Diaper Duty. If you know my parents, you know how much fun they are. They were a total joy to have here. We also needed their help after a physically and emotionally exhausting week in the NICU. Oh yeah, and there's that part about us having no idea what on earth we were doing:) They were a calm and imparted wisdom that we crave as brand new parents. We're so grateful for everything they did for us. And all that Cam's parents did and continue to do for us. Gosh, so much!! Maybe the quickest way to realize the love and sacrifices they have lived for us is to become parents. I laugh and tell John when changing his constant explosive diapers, sweet boy, one day when you have a baby of your own, you'll finallllly get it. Just how much we love you.

If you remember, my Dad baptized John, and my Mom cooked an amazing meal for everyone who was there. She makes the very best chicken dishes {and made one of them that night!}, usually off the top of her head with what looks and sounds good to her, or with whatever she has on hand. This Cranberry Chicken recipe is inspired by her for that very reason. I saw fresh cranberries, snagged them, some local chicken, butternut squash, and it turned out to be one of the easiest and most satisfying dinners we've had since they were here.


Roasted Cranberry Chicken and Butternut Squash
{serves 3}

3 chicken breasts
3 C fresh cranberries
1 C water
1 C raw sugar
1 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed
salt & pepper
EVOO

 There aren't many ingredients necessary since each has wonderful flavor on its own!

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Over medium heat on the stovetop, boil the water and sugar. Add in the cranberries, stirring until most pop. Remove from the heat.

Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Place the chicken in a large bowl and generously drizzle olive oil, salt & pepper over both sides of each piece. Use your hands or the back of a spoon to spread.

Place the cubed butternut squash in a large baking dish. Drizzle a bit of EVOO and just a pinch of sea salt on top. In the center of the dish place the chicken with the remaining olive oil from the bowl. Pour all of the cranberry sauce over the chicken. It will ooze into the butternut squash and make it more tender. Turn down the heat to 425 degrees F and bake for one hour, or until the chicken begins to brown on top and is cooked through.

28 comments:

  1. What amazingly sweet and loving parents you have! God has blessed you richly, Mrs. Marshall. :)

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  2. I love your sweet parents! What a joy to meet them. Love you friend. So much!

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  3. Yum! Looks like a wonderful dinner to come home to! xo Heidi
    http://fabricandfrosting.blogspot.no/

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  4. What a wonderful, beautiful meal! There's such elegance in simplicity in food - and you give every ingredient a chance to shine. And your parents sound like such wonderful, loving, giving people.

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    1. thank you so much, Kristin.
      they truly are!

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  5. If your parents get to missing you TOO much... they are welcome to visit DC around mid-to-late May next year!! We'll definitely be in the market for a baby whisperer and gourmet chef!!! :)
    miss you love!
    Lanneybear

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    Replies
    1. hahah you'll have mr. timmy bear cooking up a storm for you !!
      miss you always.

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  6. This sounds amazing! I'll have to try this next week. How blessed your parents could come and spend that time with you. Helping you and Cam adjust to parenthood.

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    1. hah, we probably would have died without them.
      thank you!

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  7. Cranberry & chicken is one of my favorite food combinations :)

    It's funny how as I grow older, I learn more and more how much my parents love me and have sacrificed for me. It certainly humbles you and puts you in your place!

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  8. Yum! I am putting this one on the docket for dinner.

    I think what you said is so true -- you never realize how much your parents love you until you become parents yourself. I definitely have a handle on that now that I am older...so I can only imagine what it is like when a baby comes along!

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  9. I have a bag of fresh cranberries and some butternut squash hanging around the house, but haven't had any really good ideas of what to do with them - so this dish will be perfect! I'm going to make it tonight!! :)
    And the by the way, I absolutely adore your blog!!! Your pictures are always so crisp and gorgeous! Do you mind telling me how you got so good at photography? Any classes or just learning on your own?
    And your new baby boy is just too precious for words! :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Rachel!! Thats kind of you to say! No, I've never taken a photography class, I just live with my camera constantly taking photos... but I have a long way to go!

      thank you! I agree - he is the very best!

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  10. Amanda this looks so delicious! I am going to try this dish this week :) Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Aw thanks for trying it, Rachel!

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  11. so so wonderful your parents were ale to come after john was born. and yes i completely agree, even though i'm not a parents yet, just being with my brothers 24/7 i'm so much more appreciative of my parents of everything they had to put up with me and continue to do for me and my siblings.

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  12. Are you sure that's not 325 instead of 425? I made it and had to turn the oven off - it was boiling over!

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    1. I'm sorry that happened!! But yes, I did mean 425 and I've made it a few times since sans issue. It may be a difference in our ovens?

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    2. Thanks for replying. It is a new convection oven but still really good recipe. I did it in the crock pot one day too with better results.
      Love your blog. I feel the love radiating all the way to St. Louis!

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    3. Thanks for replying. It is a new convection oven but still really good recipe. I did it in the crock pot one day too with better results.
      Love your blog. I feel the love radiating all the way to St. Louis!

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    4. that makes me smile. Thank you, Cathy.

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  14. I made this last night for my family of six. I made it in the roasting pan since I had to double it and it was phenomenal! The flavors stood out and the dish was so tasty. Thank you for sharing this.

    And, I, too, agree that parents are the best. I remember driving home form the hospital with my first and completely "getting" my mom. :)

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