Friday, October 24, 2014
My father-in-law is teaching himself to cook. The other day he asked if he could cook chicken, potatoes, and carrots together in the oven. Maybe other vegetables. I was thinking of course, but things would cook at different rates. Maybe you would need to stagger how you put things in the oven. But this inspired me to try it out and to keep it simple (I have heard commentary for some people who will be left un-named ...mom... that claim I do everything the hard way). One of my pet peeves are recipes that are called "simple one-pot meals" that really need 2 saucepans, a baking dish, the food processor, a colander, and a bowl or two. And don't include a vegetable. This dish really is a whole meal and really needs just one pan, and one cutting board (although I'm sure my mom would do this using a paring knife against her thumb). The only caveat is that if you want to make enough for 4 or more people, it will take a really large pan. Or 2 pans.
It came out good. My only recommendation was to use bone-in chicken instead of boneless chicken to not over-cook the chicken while giving the potatoes time to get nice and soft. I used chicken thighs ... to me they have a lot more flavor and are more suited to slower cooking. Legs would be good too. Feel free to adjust the vegetable quantities and types to your taste or what you happen to have on hand. I really didn't measure anything when I made this, you don't need to either. Sweet potatoes instead of white ones, winter squash instead of summer, more onions would work. Skip the mushrooms if you don't have any. Maybe use cabbage. You could certainly use fresh herbs if they were handy. I'm sure I will do some more experimenting on this through the winter. Maybe I will be the one that really learns something!
2 - 3 medium potatoes, cubed
3 small zucchini, cut in large chunks
4 medium carrots, cut in large chunks
1 cup or so of mushrooms
1 very small onion (or more. or not)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon italian seasoning or dry oregano
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 chicken thighs and/or legs (preferably with skin and bones)
Preheat the oven to 375F (use convection if you have it). As you cut up the vegetables, toss them into an oiled 9 x 13 pan. Sprinkle with garlic, herbs, salt, and pepper, then add the olive oil (not too much - you will get more fat from the chicken) and give a good toss (hands work best for this). Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper (and if you are using boneless skinless pieces against my advice, put some oil on them too), and nestle in among the veggies. Bake for 30 minutes, then stir the veggies around, bake for another 20 minutes (with convection) to 30 minutes or until everything is done.