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Golden Skillet Chicken Thighs with Delicata Squash, Red Onion, and Crispy Pancetta

Updated: Jun 30, 2023

There's nothing like a good skillet dinner, and this one right here is one of my current faves. It's a feast for ALL the senses, with its vibrant colors (sight), glorious aromas (smell), luscious textures (touch), and complex flavors (taste). Oh, and I mustn't forget the groans of pleasure it will bring on (hearing), all with minimal effort.

I've used my Spicy Turmeric Blend here, which imparts a lovely garlicky, slightly spicy tang and loads of gorgeous color to this dish. If you're short on time you can skip the bit about refrigerating the chicken for an hour, but it really does help create the crispiest skin, so if you're skipping that step be sure to really pat the chicken as dry as possible before proceeding.

Let's get cooking, shall we?

Golden Skillet Chicken Thighs with Delicata Squash, Red Onion, and Crispy Pancetta

Serves 2-4 (depending on the size of the chicken thighs)


  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

  • Kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons Spicy Turmeric Blend, divided

  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds delicata squash

  • 2 medium red onions

  • 4 ounces pancetta, diced

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

  • Cilantro leaves, for serving


  1. Pat chicken thighs dry with paper towels and season with kosher salt. Chill, uncovered, at least an hour (and up to 1 day ahead).

  2. Preheat oven to 425F with a rack set in the middle

  3. Cut squash into 1-inch thick rings and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and pulp. Peel the onions and cut them in half through the root and then into wedges.

  4. In a large bowl, toss squash, onions, and diced pancetta together with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon Spicy Turmeric Blend.

  5. Heat 12" cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.

  6. Remove chicken from the fridge. Pat dry again with paper towels. Drizzle chicken with 1 tablespoon olive oil and remaining 1 tablespoon Spicy Turmeric Blend. Rub to coat.

  7. Pour remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil into hot skillet and place chicken thighs, skin side down, into skillet. Once the skin is a nice golden brown, remove skillet from heat and transfer chicken thighs to a plate. Arrange the squash/onion/pancetta mixture in the skillet and nestle the chicken thighs, skin side up, on top.

  8. Transfer skillet to hot oven and roast until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear when pierced with a knife or thermometer, about 25-30 minutes.

  9. Scatter cilantro leaves on top and serve.

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