Roasted veggies is one of my favorite things to eat.
Preheat oven to 400°/205°C
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 3/4"/2cm cubes
(If your local grocer also has purple peruvian sweet potatoes, add one of those too)
1 handful or more of small creamy white potatoes, cut in half or quarter depending on size
1 handful or more of small red pototoes—same
1 large onion cut into 16ths
1 red bell pepper chopped
1 green bell pepper chopped
1 head garlic broken into unpeeled cloves
2-3 parsnips lightly peeled and cut into 3/4" chunks (they are so sweet when roasted)
2-3 medium sized carrots, lightly peeled and cut into 3/4" chunks
4 or 5 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
1 T Louisana Fish Fry Products Cajun Seasoning (or equivalent, link to product here
Put cut veggies in large bowl, add olive oil, seasonings and rosemary. Toss thoroughly to coat. Pour out into one or two rimmed baking sheets. Put pans in lower half of oven for 20 minutes. Remove and toss veggies with a couple of flat spatulas, return to oven and switch placement of pans. Roast for an additional 20 to 25 minutes. Put onto warm platter or large shallow bowl with sprig of fresh rosemary on top. This works with lots of entrées.
I usually make lots more than what will be served for dinner. I then make soup with the leftovers with some homemade stock the next day.
One entrée that I serve with roasted veggies is Pan Roasted Chicken Breasts with a Sage Vermouth Sauce
1 cup kosher salt (or 1/2 cup table salt)
2 whole bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts about 1 1/2 pounds each, or 4 split breasts
ground black pepper
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 large shallot , minced
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup dry vermouth
6 fresh sage leaves , each leaf torn in half
1 large dried chipotle pepper, cut in half
3 tablespoons unsalted butter , cut into 3 pieces (keep cold in fridge until ready to use at end of sauce making)
table salt and ground black pepper
Now to put it all together...it really doesn't take long, and it's not that hard...the results are great!
First, brine the birdie boobs...won't take long:
Dissolve salt in 2 quarts cold tap water in large container or bowl; submerge chicken in brine and refrigerate until fully seasoned, about 30 minutes. Rinse chicken pieces under running water and pat dry with paper towels. Season chicken with pepper.
(It's amazing how brining the chicken makes them retain their plumpy juicyness through the cooking process...it really is worth it)
Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 450 degrees.
Heat oil in heavy-bottomed 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until beginning to smoke; swirl skillet to coat with oil. Brown chicken skin-side down until deep golden, about 5 minutes; turn chicken pieces and brown until golden on second side, about 3 minutes longer. Turn chicken skin-side down again and place skillet in oven. Roast for 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer chicken to platter, tent loosely with foil and let rest while making sauce.
Use a potholder to protect hands from hot skillet handle, pour off most of fat from skillet; add shallot, then set skillet over medium-high heat and cook, stirring frequently, until shallot is softened, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add chicken broth, vermouth, chipotle and sage; increase heat to high and simmer rapidly, scraping skillet bottom with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits, until slightly thickened and reduced to about 3/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Pour accumulated chicken juices into skillet, reduce heat to medium or medium low, and whisk in butter 1 piece at a time; season to taste with salt and pepper and pick out the sage bits and the pepper. Spoon sauce around chicken breasts and serve immediately.
NB: last pic above shows alternate accompaniments, which work well too.
images copyright © 2008 barry b. doyle all rights reserved