Real Food for Real Life

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Paprika Roasted Chicken and Root Vegtables

The weather continues to be cold and dreary, and the need is strong for comforting food.  I had purchased some very nice split chicken breasts (99 cents a lb. at Meijer) that needed to be used, and remembering a paprika based roasted chicken recipe I had read on Epicurious, I decided to vary it and make it my own.  The addition of the root vegetables was a natural, but obviously use what you like and what you have.  Knowing how much Christopher likes carrots, cooked and raw, I ended up adding extra carrots.  Since I was working with split breasts, I trimmed off the ribs and excess skin and tossed those in the freezer to make stock at a later date.  Almost as soon as the pan went in the oven, the house was filled with a wonderful smell and I couldn't resist peeking as the chicken became beautiful and golden.  We had the chicken and veggies with a simple green salad and it tasted every bit as good as it smelled.  A note for children or sensitive palates- Ben and I loved this chicken, but Chris thought it was a little too spicy- if you have any concerns about a little heat you might want to cut the amount of cayenne.

Paprika Roasted Chicken and Root Vegetables

3 to 4 lbs. chicken parts with skin
1 lb. carrots, peeled & cut into chunks
1 lb. small red potatoes, quartered
1 lb onions, peeled & cut into 1/2" wedges
4 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
3 tbs. sweet, smoked Spanish paprika
1 tbs. honey
1 tbs. minced garlic
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cayenne
1 tsp. coarse salt
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 500 degrees with the rack in the upper third.  Spray a roasting pan or large baking dish with cooking spray.  Mix the olive oil and all the seasonings in a small bowl; it will form a paste..  Prepare the veggies and toss in the pan with some of the seasoning paste.  If you have ready to use chicken pieces (whatever you like), place them in the pan.  Rub the chicken pieces thoroughly with the remaining seasoning paste and nestled, skin side up, into the veggies.  Roast until the chicken is cooked through and the skin nicely browned and crisped, 30 to 35 minutes.  Serve the chicken with a big spoonful of the roasted veggies.

Even trimmed, these breasts were huge, and we still had half left after dinner.  Once the meat was completely cool I lifted it off the remaining bone (very easy at this point), and sliced it very thinly.  The slices will be used for salads and sandwiches over the next couple of days (but I have claimed the remaining roast vegetables for myself for lunching this week).

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