Sunday, October 10, 2010

Bake me a chicken with roasted kitchen! kitchen!

Baked chicken with roasted vegetables and potatoes.
What could be more simple and homey than that?
I saw this package of 3 chicken halves in my supermarket and a simple menu came to mind.

3 Chicken halves (natural chicken)
2 strips of bacon cut into large pieces
3 sprigs of thyme
1 sprig of rosemary
3 sprigs of Thai basil (it's a little minty) or Italian basil
3 crushed garlic
1/2 of a large red onion
2 Idaho potatoes - peeled and cut in thick slices
2 baby eggplants
1 large sweet pepper just starting to ripen
2-3 tablespoons of the amazing rub
Extra virgin olive oil

Put the chicken halves in a large baking sheet.  Loosen the skin and season inside out generously with amazing rub.  Meanwhile, portion the herbs and the garlic and sliced bacon to stuff under the skin of each chicken (the bacon will keep the chicken breast moist and the herbs will add more wonder to the taste).
Sprinkle some salt to the potatoes and.....
Put the sliced potatoes under each chicken to serve as a pedestal - (the potatoes will absorb the wonderful juices of the chicken). Put in the middle rack and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees F.  On a cast iron pan/or baking sheet put the eggplants, red onion, and large pepper, sprinkle with salt and some olive oil and bake on the lower rack for 40-45 minutes.  Let cool and peel the eggplants, red pepper and slice the red onions.  Transfer the baked chicken to a serving platter, along with the vegetables......
Meanwhile brown the potatoes under a broiler just until golden and transfer to the chicken platter.  Pour all the chicken juices in a bowl and taste for seasoning. Add a teaspoon of mustard and whisk vigorously.  Serve as a sauce for the chicken and the vegetables.  There is nothing like coming home to a simple and great meal.

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