Monday, November 09, 2009
Pitching Some Chicken
I rarely order chicken when we got to a restaurant because it's something we have here at home fairly often, whether roasted, smoked or curried.
But, like Pedro Martinez, it's nice to have a changeup in your pitching repertoire when the family gets that "Chicken again?" look in their eyes. So I was very pleased to see this recipe raved on my brother's blog the other day, and it looked eminently adaptable to what I had in the vegetable bin. Plus it's quick and easy, and perfectly suitable for company when you want a comforting, seasonal dish. And I guarantee you'll get asked for the recipe.
Oven-Roasted Chicken Legs with Root Vegetables
Adapted from Epicurious.com
3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
6 whole chicken legs with skin and bones, approx. 3 lbs. (chicken thighs work, too)
1 Tbsp. coarse kosher salt
2 tsp. dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. freshly grated or ground nutmeg
2 parsnips, peeled and cut into large chunks (I had a cauliflower, broken into florets)
3 sweet potatoes, scrubbed, cut into 2-inch-long, 1/2-inch-thick spears (I used Yukon Golds)
4 medium carrots, peeled, cut into 2-inch-long, 1/2-inch-thick spears
8-10 whole peeled garlic cloves
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives (optional)
Preheat oven to 450°. Coat large roasting pan with 1 tablespoon oil. Place chicken in roasting pan. Turn to coat with oil and set skin side up. Mix salt, thyme, pepper and nutmeg in small bowl. Sprinkle half of mixture over chicken. Roast until chicken starts to brown and some fat has rendered, about 30-40 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine all vegetables and garlic, 2 tablespoons oil and remaining salt-thyme mixture in large bowl. Transfer chicken pieces to medium bowl; set aside. Transfer vegetable mixture to same roasting pan; turn to coat with drippings. Roast until vegetables soften, 20-30 minutes. Place chicken on top of vegetables; pour accumulated juices from chicken over. Return sheet to oven. Roast until chicken is cooked and vegetables brown, 15 minutes longer. Place vegetables and chicken on platter; sprinkle with chives if desired.