The holidays are over, taking with them the nonstop cookies, pie and chocolate. I did more than my share of eating this year, and it was good! But I am feeling overindulged and craving healthy food now.
Dinner tonight is roast chicken breasts and vegetables: easy on the waistline, easy on the budget, easy on the cook. Just throw everything in the oven and let it bake for a couple of hours. My mom and grandmother both liked to put this meal in the oven and let it bake while we were at church so that Sunday dinner would be ready when we got home.
You can use any vegetables your family likes, but potatoes and carrots are always the favorites around here. We sometimes skip the onion, but never the garlic. Add any herbs or spices that you like, or keep it simple, as written. Tonight I am using frozen chicken breasts, so I will probably start those for 30 minutes or so before I add the veggies. We just got back yesterday from a week in Florida with the in-laws and I only pulled the chicken out of the freezer at lunchtime, so it will still be frozen solid when it is time to cook it. Believe me, it won’t make a bit of difference in the end product.
You will notice I call for bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts. Boneless breasts have their place, but in this dish you really need the bones and skin. With bone-in, skin-on chicken, you can cook the chicken longer and still avoid tough meat. Cooking with the lid on allows everything to get done, without drying it out or making it tough. I remove the skin before serving, so the added fat and calories are negligible, but the taste difference is worth it.
This is more of a guide than a recipe. As you can see from the amounts, you can vary just about everything. If you have a big enough pan, you can double it. Just remember that the higher you pile everything, the longer it will take to cook.
Back to Reality Roast Chicken Dinner
Serves 4, or 2 with leftovers
2-4 large bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts or 1 whole chicken
4-8 potatoes, depending on size
4-6 carrots, depending on size
1-2 medium onions
1-4 cloves garlic, to taste
¼-1/2 cup white wine or water
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chicken in a large, covered casserole dish. Scrub and peel potatoes, if desired. Cut into large chunks and add to casserole dish. Scrub and peel carrots. Cut each into several pieces and add to casserole dish. Peel and cut onions into quarters. Add to dish. Peel and chop garlic and sprinkle over chicken, or loosen the chicken skin and place garlic underneath. Or just throw the cloves in whole and scrape out the cooked garlic and spread it on the chicken when everything is done. Pour wine or water over chicken. Sprinkle everything with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and bake 1-1½ hours, until chicken is tender and vegetables are done. Time will depend on your oven and how full your dish is. The more spread out everything is, the faster it will cook.