Well, if this dish doesn’t scream FALL, then I don’t know what does! These crispy fritters are similar to potato latkes, with a sweet and spicy flavor that perfectly complements the rich apple cider glaze on the chicken thighs. It’s my idea of a truly comforting meal for a cozy evening at home!
For the butternut squash fritters: Place the squash, apple, ginger, egg, breadcrumbs, sage, rosemary, salt and pepper into a large bowl and stir together to combine.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and coat the bottom with about 1/4 inch of oil. When the oil shimmers, scoop heaping tablespoons of the squash mixture and drop gently into the oil, pressing with the back of the spoon to slightly flatten. Fry in batches until brown and crisp, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Drain on a plate lined with lightly crumpled paper towels. Sprinkle lightly with more salt before serving. Makes about 2 dozen fritters.
For the apple cider-glazed chicken thighs: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chicken thighs on each side with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper, then cook in batches on each side until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. Remove and set aside.
Lower the heat to medium and add the onions and 2 sprigs of thyme to the pan. Season with salt, add a little water, and scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet until the onions are golden and softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the apple cider, vinegar and the reserved liquid from squeezing out the squash and apple. Simmer until reduced, 5 minutes.
Remove the thyme leaves from the remaining 2 sprigs of thyme, then finely chop the thyme, parsley, and tarragon. Set aside.
Whisk the butter into the reduced sauce, then add the chicken thighs back to the pan to warm through for 2 or 3 minutes, coating with the glaze and sprinkling with the fresh herbs. Check that the thighs have reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, then serve with the Butternut Squash Fritters.