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Thyme Stuffed Chicken, Caramelised Butternut and Spinach with Mushroom Sauce

Recipe originally appeared on Nadialim.com


  • 3 cloves garlic minced

  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme chopped

  • 30 g butter softened

  • 4 free-range chicken breasts skin on

Butternut and spinach

  • 800-900 g butternut skin on, halved lengthways and cut into 1 cm-thick slices

  • 1½ tablespoons maple syrup or liquid honey

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 4-5 cups spinach leaves chopped

Mushroom sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 onion diced

  • 250 g button mushrooms stalks removed and quartered

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  • ½ cup cream

  • lemon juice of ½


  • Preheat oven to 200°C. Line an oven tray with baking paper.

  • Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Mix garlic, thyme and butter together. Divide flavoured butter into four and push under the skin of each chicken breast, distributing the butter evenly by squishing it around with your fingers.

  • Season chicken breasts with salt. Heat a drizzle of oil in a large fry-pan on medium heat. Add chicken, skin-side-down, and cook for 3 minutes until skin is golden brown. Flip breasts over and transfer to a roasting dish (but don’t wash the pan!).

  • Lay butternut pieces on prepared oven tray and drizzle over maple syrup and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast chicken and butternut in oven for 18–20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through (when the juices from the chicken run clear when pierced with a knife) and butternut is soft and slightly caramelised. Remove chicken from oven and leave to rest in roasting dish while you make the sauce.

  • Place the same fry-pan you cooked the chicken in back on medium heat. Add olive oil and cook onion until soft, 3–4 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook a further 2–3 minutes. Add soy sauce, cream and lemon juice. Simmer sauce for 2–3 minutes until slightly thickened (it will thicken more as it cools).

  • Wash spinach and shake off excess water. Scatter spinach on top of butternut and return to oven until spinach has wilted, 2–3 minutes.

  • To serve, divide butternut and spinach between plates, top with a chicken breast and spoon over sauce.

NOTES The ‘Thyme Stuffed Chicken dish’ was an absolute hit, with many people saying it was the best meal they’ve ever had! Tips: If your chicken breasts are really large, you may only need to use three, slice and divide between people. If you would prefer not to have the skin on the chicken, that’s fine. Make a small incision/’pocket’ in the chicken breasts with a small sharp knife, and stuff with the garlic thyme butter.

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