Monday, January 25, 2010

Mediterranean Herb-Roasted Chicken

I’ve decided that an important reason why Americans are so fat these days is that every dish served in casual dining establishments as well as every recipe featured on cooking shows and recipe sites is smothered in a cream sauce or melted cheese, or fried. Sometimes it’s all three. I’ve become very conscience of my weight since joining a gym (spandex is NOT your friend) so I’ve been seeking out recipes that are not smothered in cream or cheese, or fried. They are tough to come by.

This recipe caught my eye because it fits my criteria and is my favorite kind of recipe, the one dish meal. It’s similar to the Rosemary Chicken and Vegetables recipe that I’ve made for years but with different seasonings and roasted in the oven rather than prepared on top of the stove.

Anything cooked uncovered in an oven is going to be dry so basting it or marinating it is critical. This recipe offers an “herb mixture” to spoon over the ingredients. I thought that it would be sufficient until I actually made it. It’s more “herb” than “mixture”. And two tablespoons is not nearly enough for the initial roasting time.

I chose not to use whole chicken legs simply because I don’t care for them. I used my usual boneless breasts. They have little or no fat on them. I assume that legs are fattier because there was virtually no “accumulated juices” to baste with. The chicken and vegetables came out of the oven dry, dry, dry. I also have to quibble with the size of the vegetables. Cutting the potatoes into 8 wedges was too large. They didn’t cook through. Likewise, cutting the zucchini into 2” pieces. Too big. I cut mine into ½” pieces and it cooked perfectly.

Now for the good news. The aroma while this was cooking was mouthwatering. And it looked fantastic when it came out of the oven, probably the most colorful dish that I have ever made. Topping it all off, it tasted every bit as good as it smelled.

I want to make this again. The first time, I would try baking rather than roasting. I am curious if merely covering this would seal in the juices, creating a moister dish. If that doesn’t work, I would add chicken broth to the herb mixture similar to the Rosemary Chicken recipe, adding much more than two tablespoons for the initial roasting time.

Verdict: Needs work

Mediterranean Herb-Roasted Chicken
(source: Cooking Club of America)

5 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
4 teaspoons chopped garlic
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 ½ teaspoons dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried savory or oregano
¼ teaspoon pepper
3 medium red potatoes, cut into 8 wedges each
2 medium onions, cut into 1-inch wedges
4 whole chicken legs
1 (4-oz.) pkg. multi-colored mini sweet bell peppers, halved, or 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch wedges
1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise, cut into 2-inch pieces

Heat oven to 375°F. Finely chop rosemary, garlic and salt together; place in small bowl. Stir in lemon juice, oil, thyme, savory and pepper.

Spray bottom of wide shallow roasting pan with cooking spray. Scatter potatoes and onions in pan; add chicken. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the herb mixture over chicken and vegetables in pan; toss to coat. Place chicken on top of potatoes and onion.

Bake 45 minutes. Remove from oven; baste with accumulated juices. Scatter peppers and zucchini around chicken; spoon remaining herb mixture over chicken and all vegetables. Bake 20 to 30 minutes or until chicken is browned and no longer pink in center.

4 servings

Recycle: lemon juice bottle, olive oil bottle

Compost: rosemary stems, garlic skins, onion skins

1 comment:

kamagra said...

Chicken is my favorite meal, specially when we prepare it roasted, also it's so healthy and the flavor is totally different.m10m