I used to get real fancy in the kitchen. We’re talking truffle oil and fois gras, folks. Nowadays my taste is less gourmet and more…utilitarian. My criteria for a good meal is thus:
- Is it healthful? (This might not seem like a tough one, but I was raised eating almost entirely processed or high-fat foods, so eating balanced meals, with minimal use of processed ingredients is huge for me. No unpronounceables, no fake sugars, no trans fats. This doesn’t mean we don’t eat sweets, or indulge in rich foods, but we try do to so in the healthiest way possible.)
- Does it offer leftovers? (Either for another meal entirely, or for lunches?)
- Can I prepare it without needing some obscure and expensive ingredient? (I’m looking at you, saffron.)
- Does it clean up fast? If it only takes half an hour to prepare, but I’m spending an hour washing all of the dishes, it gets vetoed.
(I’ll add my notes in green.)
- 3 1/2 pounds skin-on, bone-in chicken quarters (I buy one chicken quarter per adult, and they’re usually a pound a piece. This yields lots of leftover chicken for chicken sandwiches or chicken salad the next day,)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 lemon, halved
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound fingerling or other small potatoes
- 2 bunches radishes
- 1 bunch scallions
- 1 bunch baby carrots (I usually ditch the carrots because the radishes, potatoes and scallions are PLENTY, but if you love carrots, they’re tasty in this recipe.)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill (I often forget the dill, and it still comes out delicious.)
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper, then place skin-side up on a rimmed baking sheet. Squeeze 1/2 lemon over the chicken and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Roast 15 minutes. (I usually cover the dish with tinfoil while it’s baking for the first 15 minutes, otherwise the olive oil is really splattery when I try and remove the dish from the oven.)
Meanwhile, cut the potatoes and radishes in half and cut the scallions into thirds. Toss the potatoes, radishes, carrots and the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a bowl; season with salt and pepper.
Remove the chicken from the oven and scatter the vegetables around it. Continue to roast until the vegetables are tender and the chicken is golden and cooked through, about 20 more minutes. (For the second 20 minutes it’s roasting, I roast it uncovered.) Squeeze the remaining 1/2 lemon over the chicken and vegetables. Top with the dill and season with salt.
Per serving: Calories 569; Fat 31 g (Saturated 7 g); Cholesterol 132 mg; Sodium 655 mg; Carbohydrate 27 g; Fiber 5 g; Protein 44 g
The lemon is clutch in this recipe. I’d go so far as to tell you not to make it if you don’t have the lemon on hand. Also, I’ve added chopped fresh rosemary to the chicken (before it’s roasted) a few times, and it was really good. (I’d be willing to bet that thyme would make a great addition, too!) I’m not sure this is a great recipe for you folks that live in a place where it gets real hot in the summer, though, ’cause even here, on the edge of California, with a chilly ocean breeze blowing through my kitchen window, my kitchen gets HOT when I prepare this.
Anyhoo, if you try this out, I sure hope you like it! And let me know what you think!
I’ll be back on Wednesday with a post inspired by these two quotes, from Mother Teresa:
Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.
God doesn’t require us to succeed, he only requires that you try.