- 6 acorn squash
- 8 Tbsp olive or vegetable oil, divided
- 3 lb boneless skinless chicken, cut into small pieces
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme, divided
- 2 Tbsp minced rosemary, divided
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1/2 Tbsp salt
- 1/2 Tbsp freshly ground pepper
- 6 Tbsp butter, cut into pieces and divided
- 1 1/2 cups wild rice
- 3/4 cup orzo
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 1 onion, cut into eights
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup diced butternut squash
- 1 portobello mushrom stem and gills removed, diced, optional
- 1 cup white wine, such as pinot grigio
- 2 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth, plus more as needed
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 4 fresh sage leaves, cut into ribbons
- 2 fresh sprigs thyme
- 2 fresh sprigs rosemary
Preheat oven to 400°.
Rub acorn squashes with olive oil, prick each squash several times with a fork, place on a rimmed baking sheet and cook until tender when pierced with a knife, 45 minutes-1 hour.
In a large bowl, add chicken, 2 tablespoons oil, 1 tablespoon thyme, 1 tablespoon rosemary, brown sugar, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat.
In a large, heavy Dutch oven over high heat, add remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Add chicken, in batches, and sear until no longer pink, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a large plate and repeat with remaining chicken.
Reduce heat to medium-high, add 2 tablespoons butter, and toast, stirring often, about 1 minute. Add celery, onion, garlic, squash, and mushrooms, if using, and stir to combine. Cook until just softened, about 7 minutes.
Add orzo and wine and cook until nearly evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add broth, lemon zest and juice, sage, 1 tablespoon thyme, and 1 tablespoon rosemary. Liberally season with salt and pepper. Place chicken pieces on top. Sprinkle remaining 4 tablespoons butter on chicken and cover. Transfer to oven and bake until there is no more liquid in pan and chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°, about 30 minutes. If rice is dry or crunchy, add more broth and continue to cook, covered, another 10 minutes. Remove from oven, discard herb sprigs and serve.