Thursday, March 3, 2011

One (actually two) (getting ready) for the road

Why is the day before a trip always so hectic??!? Work emails to finish, projects to sign off on, reports to request and send, calls to return, mayhem needed to be whipped into order. Add to the mix an early release day with the munchkin, dance class, bank deposits so said trip can be financed, iced coffee run and manicures, not to mention blog (c'mon, these are way essential). When the heck am I going to pack, do the laundry that needs to packed, put out the trash, change my sheets (I have this thing about returning home to clean sheets...) and pick up the house (ditto). Oh yeah, and don't forget to check in online and print the tickets, but wait! First, there's the realization your flights have been adjusted. You now have a 20 min layover. In Detroit? With a four-year old? I.don'

So, between the dance pick up and after the manicure but before the bank and during the iced coffee payment, I had to call Delta to remedy this egregious error. Dialing my super secret elite number while I slum it through the drive-thru was probably a bad idea. So was the attitude the peon on the line gave me. Not once, but three times, she rudely bellowed, " You don't talk loud enough. I can't help you if I can't hear you." While this is true, her delivery was pretty jerky. Um, manager please. Did you hear that?

After some very nice man in customer service gets me rebooked with a more reasonable time between flights, I realize: oh yeah, I also need to feed my kid tonight. I thought about ordering food or stopping for something pre-made at the market, but then I recalled there are frozen chicken thighs and drumsticks, relics from delicious eating B.D. (Before Diet), at home. And then I recalled I can eat dark meat three times a week!!!!!!!!! Hurrah!!!!!! I will make my favorite dish of all my weeknight standby's, AND it's diet-friendly!!!!!!! Praise be to Perdue!!!!!!!!!!

I have mentioned chicken on here several times, but don't think I've actually posted a recipe. Curious as most of my meat forays include this feathered friend. It's quite possibly the easiest dinner EVER, and includes vegetables to boot, all cooked in one pan. Easy peasy, one mess to clean up, and tastes like you roasted it all day. I throw some chopped avocado and reheated peas on the plate for H with her "chicken bone", and we're cooking with gas (I wish- we have electric).

Say a little prayer for us that we get to our mini-vacation tomorrow safely (and on time). While I will be checking the BB periodically (occupational hazard, BB addiction is), I will not be logging in to a computer. I need some serious unplugged time. Seriously.

One pan Roast Chicken and Vegetables

You can really use any veggie that will hold up to roasting well: I stick to purple and yellow carrots, squashes of all kinds, cabbage, onions, leeks, beets, and sliced red potatoes- make sure all are uniformly cut. I usually cube the potatoes, onions, beets, and winter squashes, matchstick the carrots, half moon zucchinis and summer squash, and throw the leeks in whole. Tonight, however, I used baby carrots leftover from an entertaining veggie plate and baby Bok Choy that was left out of a stir fry: all tender carrots and leafy greens soaked in chicken-fat goodness.

4 pieces of bone-in chicken (drumsticks or thighs work best)
1 teaspoon Adobo season (or just plain S&P, if you prefer)
Assorted chopped vegetables (see note above), about 3 cups
Cooking spray
Salt and Pepper

Heat oven to 425 F. Heat a large saute pan that can go in the oven on the stove top- medium to high heat. Pat chicken dry. Season with Adobo. Apply cooking spray to entire pan. Add chicken, careful not to crowd. Allow the chicken to sear on all sides, starting with skin side down (thighs) for about 4-5 min each. When it's seared, it won't stick to the pan and will have a nice golden crust on the outside, but still look slightly pink where it hasn't touched the hot pan. Add the veggies to the pan and roll around in the chicken juices. Season veggies with S&P. Place chicken parts on top of veggies. Place pan in the oven for 25 min. The chicken should have clear juices run when pierced or use a meat thermometer: the internal temp should be 165-170 (be careful not to hit the bone as it may give you a misread). Let rest for 5 minutes. Serve over rice or mashed or polenta or nothing if you're pressed for time and scarf down, preferably not while standing over your laptop on the counter, tying up loose ends while directing your daughter to grab her coloring books and crayons for the flight between bites.

If you're fancy, you could deglaze the pan with some Vermouth or white wine, add a little stock and tablespoon of butter. Reduce by half. This would make for a pretty crazy-awesome gravy.

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