Sunday, March 28, 2010

Roast chicken and veg...

More comfort food. Every time I leave my house on some sort of trip - business or otherwise - I become more and more fascinated with the simple comforts of food that reminds me of home. After this last little stint on the road, three cities in three days (while not the most arduous of trips... it was tiresome nonetheless), I arrived home with a list of recipe requests and a need for easy, simple comfort food.

I think everyone should be able to roast a chicken. As one of the easiest and most enjoyable of meals, it requires very little prep and fuss while satisfying a person completely. I'll get into roasting the whole chicken another time...

Now, this bit of roast chicken (pieces) and veg was a bit more calculated than simple satisfaction. One SKer friend wanted a simple, easy meal that would feed the family (this is for you, buddy!). Another wanted a tortilla soup. And I wanted a smoky soup. So, each component of this meal was to be first enjoyed, then repurposed into something a bit more than repetitive leftovers of days past.

Roast Chicken and Veg

3 pounds of carrots
1 knob of ginger, finely chopped (amounting to roughly a tablespoon)
2-3 smashed cloves of garlic
Olive oil
Salt + pepper

2 large yams
2-3 smashed cloves of garlic
Olive oil
Salt + pepper

8 chicken thighs (or thighs and drumsticks... whatever works)
Olive oil
Salt + pepper
Herbes de Provence

Heat your oven to 450 F.

By no means do you have to limit yourself to carrots and yams, you can roast whatever other vegetables you are craving. For the carrots... Roughly chop* about three pounds of carrots. (I wash them but don't bother peeling any.) Toss in a roasting pan with the smashed garlic cloves (place the side of your knife over the piece of garlic and smash it with the heel of your hand and peel away the skin), finely chopped ginger, a drizzle of olive oil, and sprinkling of salt and pepper. For the yams, peel and roughly chop*. Toss in the same roasting pan as the carrots with the garlic, a drizzle of oil, and sprinkling of salt and pepper.

*The only thing to keep in mind with the chopping is to keep the pieces around the same size so that they cook evenly.

Put the roasting pan of vegetables in the oven... now get your chicken ready. Put the chicken thighs on a baking sheet. Again, drizzle lightly with olive oil, salt and pepper, and the herbes de provence (the best blend of spices... usually basil, bay leaf, chervil, fennel, lavender, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, sage, summer savory, tarragon, and thyme). Set aside.

After the vegetables have been roasting for about 45 minutes, reduce the oven's temperature to 350 F and place the chicken into the oven. Let both continue to bake for another 45 minutes.

Pierce the chicken with a fork to test doneness. If the juices run clear, you are ready to eat. If they are pink, then give it a bit more time. Test again after 5 minutes.

Serve... either as is or with potatoes, rice or bread. If you are so inclined, you may even have enough pan juices from the roasted chicken pieces to make a gravy (a bit of flour, bit of milk, stir together then cook with the juices).

Stay tuned... The leftovers from this will make three different soups - roasted carrot and carmelized onion, roasted yams and smoky gouda, and tortilla soup.

Cooking music of the day... Against Me's Borne on the FM Waves of the Heart... an homage to the Billy Talent tour.

1 thought(s):

gonna-need-a-bigger-boat said...

Hey, I cooked my first roast all by myself this weekend (as I will be for our Saturday Easter dinner) and it turned out AMAZING!! You would have been so proud of me!!

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