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Sweet ‘n Spicy Chipotle Skillet Chicken with Bacon, Butternut, Red Onion and Apple

This recipe originally appeared on the Rachael Ray Show. For more recipes and videos from the show visit


  • 1 4-pound chicken
  • Salt
  • About 2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch wedges/half moons
  • 1 large or 2 medium red onions, root attached, peeled and cut into 1-inch wedges
  • 1 large or 2 medium firm, tart apples, such as Northern Spy apples, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch wedges and dressed with juice of 1/2 lemon
  • EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for drizzling
  • 2 tablespoons thyme, chopped, divided
  • Black pepper
  • 1/4 cup puréed chipotle in adobo
  • 2 rounded tablespoons Acacia honey or maple syrup
  • 4 slices meaty smoky bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1/2 cup amber beer


Salt chicken inside and out, tie legs together and trim wing tips. Refrigerate several hours or overnight uncovered or on the counter for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 425°F.

In a large mixing bowl, toss squash, onions and apples with EVOO to coat lightly, half the thyme, salt and pepper.

Combine chipotle and honey or maple syrup and a drizzle of oil. Slather bird with sauce and season with pepper and thyme.

Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook to render fat. Remove pan from heat, add vegetables to the pan and set chicken on top. Transfer skillet to oven and roast 1 hour to an internal temperature of 160°F on thermometer.

Let chicken rest 15-20 minutes.

Remove vegetables to platter and place pan on heat, whisk in cider and beer, and cook to reduce pan drippings by half.

Carve chicken into 8 pieces and serve with squash, apples and onions and cider-beer jus.

Rachael Ray