Roast Chicken With Spring Vegetables (A Godsey Family Favorite)

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:

  1. 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.)
  2. Does it offer leftovers? (Either for another meal entirely, or for lunches?)
  3. Can I prepare it without needing some obscure and expensive ingredient? (I’m looking at you, saffron.)
  4. 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.
Based on those criterion, I have a handful of recipes that I prepare often (at least twice a month). This recipe is for roast chicken and spring vegetables, and you can download it to print out from foodnetwork.com. I pasted it here, so you can get to it easily, but like I said, it’s not my recipe; I got it from Food Network.

Ingredients

(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.)

Directions

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

Final Notes

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.

xoxo, mj

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When Inspirational Turns Aspirational (ie Pinterest Envy)

Pinterest Logo. Familiar?

(This is one of those trying-to-write-something-before-the-baby-wakes-up situations, just so you know.)

I have a passionate love-affair with Pinterest, specifically the Pinterest iPhone app. If you’re not familiar with Pinterest, basically it’s bookmarking (like, on the internet) with a social aspect, and instead of bookmarking URLs (you know, links that look like a bunch of blahblahblah: http://www.clvrwebsitenamethatsometimesdropsitsvowls.com, for example), you book mark images, and Pinterest remembers the URL for you, hiding it’s protocol-ugliness from your sensitive eyes. It’s brilliant and fun and flipping addictive.

Pinterest eats entire baby nap-times to sustain itself. True story.

You’ll love Pinterest, I promise. Even if you’re not familar with Pinterest, you’re probably familiar with HGTV, or Food Network, or Martha Stewart, etc. And if you’re mostly staying at home with a kiddo (or kiddos), you might keep something like HGTV on in the background almost constantly. (Embarrassing, but true.) I’m so often inspired by this type of programming, that many days it’s seeing images of these well-designed, sparkly spaces that motivates me to put my cleaning gloves on (again) and scrub my sink. Or declutter my dining room table. (You get the idea.) And yes, quite often I see a fabulously styled space and think “I can do that!” This is where inspiration meets aspiration, and to be clear, I think that’s totally fine. I completely believe in wanting/loving/having gratitude for what you already have, but I don’t see any fault in wanting to improve on it. Who doesn’t want a more functional play-space for their kids, for example?

BUT. But. But sometimes aspirational turns into “desperational” (I made that word up), and that’s where the danger of inspirational content like Pinterest, HGTV and even Ms. Martha Stewart herself lies. It’s so so easy (at least, for me) to fall off of the edge of inspired and aspiring into the mindset of “I-will-literally-DIE-if-I-don’t-repaint-my-living-room!” Silly, right?

Our living room is renter-friendly, generic, ubiquitous off-white, and there’s really nothing wrong with that. Do I know how much better it would look if it were (almost) any other color? You bet your Dear Genevieve watching eyes I do! Do I have, like, 47 different ideas for redecorating it? Why not ask my friend Emily Henderson (Secrets From a Stylist)? (She’d say yes.)

So…Where’s the balance? (That’s pretty much my go-to question, all day, every day.) In my (humble, uneducated) opinion, the styling of a home is icing on the cake. So long as the home serves its primary purpose (a “haven” from the outside world where family can let down their hair and enjoy good times together), then you’re fine. It doesn’t need to be ultra-chic for it to be a place that facilitates family bonding.

And that’s what I remind myself whenever I begin to notice my aspirations turning into envy of other people’s stuff. Pictures of my home will probably never circulate Pinterest, inspiring thousands across the internet to drool on their keyboards, but my family sure is happy. We love playing with Ellie in our renter-white living room, and I’d rather spend more time chasing Ellie around than caring for hard-wood flooring (we’ve got vinyl tiles in our kitchen, GASP!). Sure, I’ll continue making improvements, but the goal will always be to create an environment that my family is happy and excited to come home to. (Vertical blinds and all.)

Can you relate to my Martha Stewart envy? Sharing is caring, so I’d love to hear your decor “vices” in the comments!

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