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We’ve all made massive adjustments this year in how we work, how we socialize, how our kids “do school,” how we exercise, and how we just function on a daily basis.
Wouldn’t it be nice if something was just simple this year? Like Christmas dinner?
If you can plan ahead a few days, you can pair Gonna Want Second’s super-simple but exceptionally delicious Buttermilk Roasted Chicken with Creme de la Crumb’s Roasted Butternut Squash and its brown butter goodness.
Your house will smell like you cooked all day when in reality you will have spent less than 30 minutes of hands-on time to get both dishes on the table.
So, instead of slaving away in the kitchen, you would have time to:
- Get outside and go for a walk to boost your mood
- Play tourist in your own town
- Check out the holiday lights in your town and neighborhood
- Go ice skating
- Play with your kids and their new toys
- Play a board game with your family (check out Buzzfeed’s 20 Best Board Games of 2020)
- Bake the cookies you kept meaning to make
- Watch the Vikings/Saints football game
- Have a candy cane hunt if you have younger children (each child could search for a specific color candy cane)
- Watch a movie (check out Rotten Tomatoes’ 63 Best Christmas Movies of All Time)
- Craft your own cocktail (check out our Elf on the Liquor Shelf Christmas Cocktails)
- Play cards (think Go Fish, Uno, Crazy 8s, Skip-Bo, and Concentration for the younger crowd and Hygge, Cards Against Humanity, Pass the Shit, Joking Hazard, Blackjack, Not Parent Approved, and Texas Hold ‘Em for the adults)
- Pick from the five different NBA games that will be played (or watch them all!)
- Call your family and friends and wish them a Merry Christmas
- Have a slumber party under your tree
How do you get out of your kitchen to do these things?
Let me be very clear. You don’t need to be tied to the kitchen to gift your family a memory-making Christmas meal.
The Buttermilk Roasted Chicken does require a two-day marinade, but the prep time to get it into the fridge is less than five minutes. And that two-day buttermilk bath is well worth the planning. The Roasted Butternut Squash only requires about 15 minutes hands-on time.
Pair them with any of the appetizers in our Banish the Holiday Hangries with These Crowd-Pleasing Appetizers and you’ll enjoy the gift of extra time with your family.
Simple to Make/Made to Impress — Buttermilk Roasted Chicken
Source: Gonna Want Seconds
If I’m basing it on the response I got to the Buttermilk Roasted Chicken recipe, there may not be a more aptly titled blog than Gonna Want Seconds.
Everyone wanted seconds.
What brought them all back for more?
I’m convinced it was the two-day buttermilk soak on the chicken.
Wait…two-day buttermilk soak? Who has time for that? Didn’t you say this is Simple to Make?
If you don’t think you have time, you need to make time. Because the two days are passive time. Once you make the marinade (which takes less than five minutes) the chicken just chills out in its buttermilk hot tub and your only responsibility during that time is to flip it once.
And the next hardest thing you have to do is put the chicken in the oven.
So…what’s stopping you?
Four things to know about the Buttermilk Roasted Chicken recipe:
- This might be the simplest recipe I’ve ever made. The stated prep time is 20 minutes, but, honestly, I think it took me less than 10 minutes. Three minutes to make the marinade and get the chicken into the bag and maybe five minutes to line the pan with foil and get the chicken on the pan and in the oven.
- As mentioned, this is a two-day marinade, so plan ahead. Drop the chicken in the marinade on December 23 and you’ve got the makings of a super simple Christmas dinner.
- I used two enormous bone-in, split chicken breasts because that’s what I had on hand but this did not affect the cooking time. The chicken hit the 165° mark right at 50 minutes. Whether you use the indicated 6 chicken breasts or fewer larger ones like I did, check the temperature and get it to 165°.
- The buttermilk guarantees moist, tender chicken. Buttermilk is only slightly acidic so it tenderizes the chicken without toughening it.
Simple to Make/Made to Impress — Roasted Butternut Squash
Source: Creme de la Crumb
Creme de la Crumb’s Roasted Butternut Squash recipe is not only Simple to Make, it’s Made to Impress. You can prep the squash and get it in the oven in less than 10 minutes.
Then, while the squash is baking, it’s just another five minutes to make the brown butter. Whatever you do, do NOT skip the brown butter. It’s what catapults this dish into the Made to Impress category. More on that later…
So, if you’re looking for something Simple to Make AND Made to Impress as a compliment to the Buttermilk Roasted Chicken, this is your recipe!
You’ll want to tuck this away in your everyday side dish pocket as well.
Four things to know about the Roasted Butternut Squash recipe:
- Make sure to dice your squash evenly. Take your time and make sure your cubes are approximately the same size (the recipe calls for 1-inch cubes) so that they cook evenly. A few extra minutes here proves well worth your time.
- Spread the squash in a single layer on the baking sheet. If you have clumps or piles of squash, it will cook unevenly.
- Do NOT leave the stove while you cook the brown butter. Don’t even look away. It can go from luscious brown butter to ruined in a hot second.
- Think about serving the brown butter on the side (more on that below).
Let’s talk brown butter. If you love butter as much as I do, this is the Holy Grail of butter. Cook it low and slow to caramelize it and bring out its nutty goodness. The result is very rich, but it elevates the flavor of whatever you add it to. Remember, this brown butter is reason we made this Roasted Butternut Squash our Made to Impress recipe.
For a tutorial on brown butter, click here.
Given the richness of the brown butter, I’ll make an argument for serving it on the side. I think it’s an absolutely necessary part of this recipe and wouldn’t serve the squash without it, but if you have people who aren’t huge fans of rich food (and this brown butter brings a delicious richness to this dish), you could let them add an amount of their choosing.
Think of brown butter like pancake syrup. Some people just kiss their pancakes with syrup while others drown them. Same with this recipe. Some people may just want a taste of the brown butter while others will want ALL the brown butter.