A Quick, Homemade Dinner


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    Quick Roast Chicken & Potatoes

    By removing the back and thigh bones, which is a lot easier than it sounds, you cut your cooking time in half. Also, this is a flexible recipe — you can vary the herbs and substitute any hearty vegetable for the potatoes.

    Serves: 4
    Time: 1 hour.

    • 1 3 to 4 pound chicken, washed and dried
    • 1 lemon, cut in half
    • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
    • a few sprigs each fresh rosemary, sage and thyme
    • coarse salt
    • freshly ground black pepper
    • about 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 1/2 dozen fingerling potatoes (or any small potato), peeled

    1.Preheat the oven to 450ºF (on convection if possible).

    2.Using a pair of sharp kitchen shears, remove and discard the backbone of the chicken (or save it for making stock). With a sharp pairing knife, remove the thigh bones — simply follow the bone and let your knife do the work for you. You can also ask your butcher to do this.

    3.Lay the chicken, breast side up, in a roasting tray and press down with your hands so that it flattens. Squeeze over the lemon, getting the juice on and around the entire chicken, and throw the lemon halves into the tray. Toss in the garlic cloves, being sure to tuck a few underneath the bird along with the fresh herbs. Liberally salt and pepper the chicken and drizzle over enough olive oil to coat — about 3 tablespoons.

    4.Meanwhile bring a saucepan of water to a boil and season with a few pinches of salt. Boil the potatoes for 8 minutes. Drain the potatoes, put them back in the pot with the lid on and shake vigorously to ‘fluff’ their exteriors. Put the potatoes in the tray with the chicken and drizzle with olive oil to coat (about another 3 tablespoons) and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

    5.Cover the tray with tinfoil, roast for 20 minutes, remove the tinfoil and baste with the juices that have collected on the bottom. Roast for an additional 20 minutes, uncovered, or until a thermometer inserted into the thigh registers at least 165ºF and the skin is browned.

    Farmers Market Salad

    This salad is about using what’s fresh and grown near you.

    Serves: 4
    Time: 20 minutes (make while your chicken is in the oven).

    • 1 small head leafy, green lettuce, washed and dried and torn into bite-sized pieces
    • 1/2 bunch watercress, stems discarded, leaves torn into bite-sized pieces
    • 1/2 bunch arugula, stems discarded, leaves torn into bite-sized pieces
    • 1 large purple spring onion, thinly sliced on the bias
    • a small handful baby carrots, peeled and boiled for 1 1/2 minutes
    • 1/2 cup shelled English peas
    • 1/2 cup prepared fava beans (remove the whole beans from the large pods, blanch them and then peel the beans from their shells)
    • a small handful radishes, cut into small wedges

    Combine all the lettuces together in a large serving bowl. Arrange the onion, carrots, peas, fava beans and radishes on top. In a small bowl, whisk together the shallot, mustard, maple syrup and vinegar. Slowly whisk in the olive oil and season the dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle over the salad and serve.

    Video by Mary Wigmore
    Music by John Gold

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