Roasted Chicken and Acorn Squash with Sumac Brown Butter


Pre-salting the chicken makes for savory flavor throughout and helps crisp up the skin. Browning the butter adds nutty depth to the sauce; a flourish of sumac and Aleppo—though not fresh ingredients—adds a fresh, bright flavor to the finished dish.

Roasted Chicken with Squash
Photo: Victor Protasio
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 50 mins


  • 4 chicken leg quarters (about 3 1/2 pounds)

  • 3 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 4 teaspoons lemon zest, divided

  • 2 teaspoons black pepper, divided

  • 2 medium acorn squash, halved and cut into 1/2-inch slices

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 3 thyme sprigs

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 teaspoon honey

  • 1 teaspoon sumac, divided

  • 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper

  • Fresh thyme leaves, for garnish


  1. Place chicken on a rimmed baking sheet; sprinkle evenly with 2 teaspoons salt, 2 teaspoons lemon zest, and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Refrigerate, uncovered, 8 hours or overnight.

  2. Let chicken come to room temperature, about 1 hour. Preheat oven to 450°F. Add acorn squash to baking sheet; drizzle chicken and squash with olive oil. Sprinkle squash with 1 teaspoon salt and remaining 1 teaspoon black pepper. Tuck thyme sprigs around chicken and squash.

  3. Bake in preheated oven until a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of chicken registers 165°F and squash is tender, about 35 minutes. Transfer chicken and squash to a platter. Discard thyme sprigs; reserve pan juices.

  4. Heat butter in a small saucepan over medium, stirring occasionally, until browned and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Scrape pan juices from baking sheet into saucepan. Whisk in honey, 1/2 teaspoon sumac, remaining 2 teaspoons lemon zest, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Drizzle over chicken and squash. Sprinkle with Aleppo pepper, thyme leaves, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon sumac.


Look for sumac at your local Middle Eastern market or on Amazon.

Suggested Pairing

Nutty, full-bodied, white Rioja.

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