I dropped my punks off at school yesterday morning, and as usual, the last minute morning pleasantries were exchanged – you know the ones – depending on the mood in the car, they’re usually something along the lines of “I love you! Have a great day! Do your best!” But yesterday, instead of professing her love for me, my youngest yelled out (no lie), “Can you please make chicken legs for dinner, BYE!!”…and with that, the car door slammed shut and she was off.
Believe you me, there was just no way I was going to disappoint a child who had chicken on the brain so early in the day!
On the way home I tossed around a few different recipes, but ended up settling on one I’ve been making for a couple of years now. It’s quite simple actually, but the roasting method gives it such a great flavor, it’s become a stand-by for me. And with whole chickens on sale for .99 / pound, this meal was a total bargain! Would you believe I got a four and a half pound chicken and a few extra legs for around $5.25! Crazy, right?
On top of that, the nice people at the meat counter will cut your chicken up however you like, which is so awesome, because I can’t stand cutting up raw chicken. Creeps…me…OUT!! I’d never make it as a chef.
You could easily throw this together on a busy work / school night; there’s not too terribly much prep work involved. Since the chicken is already cut, you’ll simply need to chop the vegetables of your choosing, and toss them together with a short list of seasonings.
Now, I must run along. I’m in a hurry to get this posted because the chickens are only on special through TONIGHT! Hop to it!
Oh, just one last thing – you’ll notice there are no vegetables in the picture. That’s because there were NONE LEFT for the photo shoot! Not a single one, can you believe that? Those DamKids gobbled them all up — I actually had to fight the little twits for my fair share of brussel sprouts. There must be something to this roasting method…it makes everything taste good. ENJOY!
ROAST CHICKEN DINNER
- 1 (3½ – 4 lb.) chicken, cut up
- 2 – 3 T. olive oil (you’ll need to adjust this if you use the optional carrots and brussel sprouts)
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 2 ½ t. salt
- 1 ½ t. ground black pepper
- ¾ t. Herbes de Provence
- 3 small to medium potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks (I used the russets that are on sale)
- 2 zucchini, trimmed, cut in to thirds, then quartered into small spears
- 1 medium onion, trimmed, halved lengthwise then sliced
- 3 carrots, trimmed, peeled and sliced about 1/3” thick (optional, I used them)
- 12 brussel sprouts, trimmed and halved (optional, I used them)
- ½ – ¾ c. chicken broth
- 1 T. fresh lemon juice
Place oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat the oven to 500.
Pat the chicken dry, then toss with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, minced garlic, 1 ¼ teaspoons of salt, 1 teaspoon of pepper, and the Herbes de Provence in a very large bowl. (If chicken seems dry, you might need to drizzle on a bit more oil). Arrange the chicken, skin sides up, without pieces touching in a roasting pan (I had so much chicken that I had to use two pans) leaving a 2 inch boarder around the edges of the pan.
Toss potatoes, zucchini, onion, carrots, and brussel sprouts with remaining oil, remaining salt, and remaining pepper in the same bowl, then spread the vegetables in 1 layer around the chicken, arranging zucchini skin sides up. Stir together the broth and lemon juice and pour in to pan around chicken and vegetables (you may need to add more broth to be sure that all of the vegetables are sitting in it).
Roast uncovered until chicken is pale golden and cooked through, about 30 minutes; rotate pan(s) half way through cooking time to ensure even cooking. (Mine took an additional 10 minutes or so because again, I had so much chicken!)
Remove pan from oven and preheat broiler. Broil chicken and vegetables 3 inches from heat until chicken is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Serve chicken and vegetables with pan juices.
*Note: I made a simple gravy with the pan juices. Here’s how I did it: remove all of the chicken and vegetables to a platter and tent with foil to keep warm. In a small bowl, mix together 1 tablespoon of room temperature butter with 1 tablespoon of flour and set aside. Strain all of your pan juices, and return them to the pan. Place the pan over medium high heat and scrape up any remaining bit from the bottom of the pan. Add in the butter and flour mixture and whisk to incorporate. Continue to cook and stir until mixture comes to a gravy consistency. Transfer to a bowl and serve with the chicken and vegetables.
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