Saturday, January 10, 2009

Dinner tonight... Roasted Chicken with Carrots and Onions

On cold, rainy nights like tonight, I am ever more grateful that Mr. Fritz and I adopted this mission to eat in as the rule rather than the exception. Because tonight, instead of having nothing in the house to cook and having to venture out into the world to forage for food, I was able to just walk into my nice warm kitchen and quickly whip up an easy yet comforting meal of roasted chicken with carrots, onions, garlic and (the secret ingredient) prunes served over couscous. It took no time at all to prepare (other than chopping the vegetables) and was inexpensive yet tasted wonderful. Even the clean-up was a snap -- wash the couscous pot, toss out the aluminum foil on which everything roasted. So easy!

To prepare, you chop the onions and carrots into 1/2 inch pieces and quarter the garlic cloves. You mix those together on a baking sheet with some salt and pepper and roast in a 450 degree oven for 10 minutes. Then you toss the vegetables with the prunes (quarter them first), add the chicken to the baking sheet as well, and roast for another 20 minutes. Towards the last ten minutes of roasting, make the couscous. Serve the vegetables and chicken over the couscous and, voila, dinner.

I used small prunes instead of large ones and I think that if I use that size again, I'll skip the step of quartering them, as they got a little too tough. Also, I might add the chicken to the vegetable mixture at the 5 minute mark and thus cutting the total time the vegetables are in the oven to 25 minutes instead of 30 minutes -- they got a little burnt towards the end. If you use bone-in chicken, you should start the chicken and the vegetables at the same time, only adding the prunes at the midway mark. Finally, I tossed everything in a little olive oil when it was all done roasting because it looked a little dry. In any case, the vegetables were tender and the chicken was perfectly roasted. I think I'll definitely make this again, maybe on a weeknight when I want maximum results for minimum effort.

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