Roasted Chicken with Herb Butter and Squash Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette

Yield: 4-6 servings

Roasted Chicken with Herb Butter and Squash Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette

Roasted Chicken with Herb Butter and Squash Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes


  • 4 lbs bone-in chicken pieces
  • Delicata squash
  • Acorn squash
  • Mixed greens or baby spinach
  • Pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds) for garnish
  • Salt + pepper

Herb Butter

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup chopped mixed herbs (fresh sage, parsley, thyme)

Cranberry Vinaigrette

  • ⅔ c fresh cranberries
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • ⅓ cup water
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar


Preheat oven to 400°. Cut squash in half, remove seeds, and then cut into ½” thick slices. On a sheet pan lined with parchment, drizzle the squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, then flip and roast for another 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Combine all the ingredients for herb butter into a small saucepan and heat over low heat until butter is melted. Simmer for 10 minutes, then set aside while you prepare the remaining ingredients.

Meanwhile, combine cranberries, water and sugar in a small saucepan and heat over medium low. Simmer until sugar dissolves and cranberries burst. The liquid should also be slightly thicker. Allow the mixture to cool until you can safely add it to your blender along with the oil and red wine vinegar. Blend until smooth. Season with salt.

Rinse the chicken pieces and pat dry. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet lined with a wire rack. Divide the herb butter into two separate bowls. Brush half of the butter all over the chicken, then roast for 30 minutes, skin side up. If roasting wings, thighs or drumsticks, check after 30 minutes for doneness (internal temp 165°) remove cooked pieces and keep warm while you continue to roast larger breast pieces for another 15 minutes or more. Once all the chicken is golden and a meat thermometer reads 165°, remove from the oven and keep warm under tented foil while you assemble the remaining ingredients.

To serve, drizzle more herb butter on the chicken, and plate with mixed greens topped with roasted squash. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad (it’s good on the chicken too!) and serve more on the side. Top with a sprinkling of pepitas. Reserve the leftover herb butter for dipping with crusty toasted bread.

Recipe Notes

This meal represents a Thanksgiving prelude. Many of these components or techniques can be leveraged on the big day. For example, if you’re preparing a small Thanksgiving dinner, you can roast turkey pieces using the same rack roast method, along with the herb butter. A simple roasted squash salad is an easy vegetable dish that can be made ahead. The cranberry vinaigrette makes the meal special and can be used as salad dressing or an alternative to cranberry sauce.


Roasting chicken in pieces on a rack is a good method for tender juicy meat. Don’t be afraid to take it out when it’s done and you won’t overcook it.

Recipe Attempts

This recipe has been attempted by the author 5+ time(s).