Sunday, January 24, 2010

Simple Cooking

I'm sure most people have heard of this, but for those who haven't, here's a quick and easy dinner, and my own twist on it.

Get your oven warming up to about 400 degrees or so, and then start getting your meal together. We used bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts. Rubbed them down with a little salt and pepper, and slipped a couple of thin lemon slices underneath the skin. Then laid then out on a wire cooling rack, like used for cookies or other baked goods. Then took a casserole dish, about 8x12 I think, and put Green Beans in that, spread in a thin layer on the bottom. Then set the wire rack on top of the dish. This way, as the chicken cooks, fats and juices drip down onto the beans as they cook, keeping them moist, and adding a nice flavor. The juice from the lemon slices keeps the chicken breasts themselves moist, while allowing the skin to become nice and crisp :)

Now, as I side dish, I prefer root vegetables. We used potatoes, and rutabagas, but you could use whatever you have on hand. Dice those up into about 1" chunks, and toss them into a bowl. I like onions, so I sliced some, and added them to the mix. Then sprinkled a little salt and pepper, and whatever herb you prefer, we usually use Rosemary, and toss the contents of the bowl to spread the spices out. Then add in a tablespoon or so of olive oil, and toss it all again until everything is coated, spread it out on a baking pan, and add it to the oven as well.

It's been my experience, that the chicken breasts, if of a good size, take about 45 minutes or so to cook all the way through. The root vegetables take about 10 minutes less to become nicely cooked, and crisp on the outside, while caramelizing the onions. This works out well as you can prepare the chicken and get it in the oven, then do the root vegetables and get them in the oven, and it all comes out at about the same time.

There's never any beans or roots left, but we always throw on an extra chicken breast. The flavors in the breast translate really well when using the leftover chicken to make chicken salad a day or two later.

There you have it. Simple, easy, and very much a comfort meal.



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