Arquive · Dinner

roasted vegetables + chicken baked in parchment

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I hit the farmers market this past Saturday just for a few minutes, in search of a reboot and my favorite yogurt, from Coulter Farms, this organic family owned and operated farm in Pennsylvania selling 100% grass fed dairy, beef and lamb. I’ve been a fan of their products for a while, but I had not visited their website until today and I found it reassuring to learn more about their family’s dedication to their animals, land and the environment. The farm would make for a great pit stop on our way to Canada. It is really cool to know who is actually making your food, since I think it changes how we eat.

I also picked up these sweet young carrots and beets which I roasted with this (impeccable store bought) fennel bulb: a splash of bright colors on a grey winter’s day. Roasted vegetables are nothing new, but sometimes we need a little inspiration and some variety. In addition to those, try any combination of broccoli florets, onions, brussel sprouts, butternut squash, whole green beens, cauliflower, and gold, sweet or fingerling potatoes. Simple cut vegetables into similar sized chunks, coat them with olive oil and check them with a fork to make sure they are tender and browned. And watch for different roasting times: beets will take longer than fennel, so I kept mine separately in the baking sheet to take them out of the oven at different times more easily.

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To accompany our vegetables, who were really the main attraction, I baked chicken breasts covered in parchment paper. Boneless skinless chicken breasts can easily turn out dry in the oven, so cover them with parchment paper will allow them to steam in their own juices for a tender and juicy meat. Next time, I’m going to bake more chicken and use the leftovers in lunches, tacos or chicken chili. Save yourself some time and make a simple meal work for you throughout the whole week!

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This is a great meal to enlist little helpers (or keep them entertained while you cook). Young kids can wash and scrub vegetables while older ones can cut them while supervised. Coating veggies in oil and seasoning meat is also simple and quick. And if you find yourself negotiating with the little ones about trying different vegetables, try serving them with hummus, sour cream or yogurt dip. It works wonders over here (most of the time).

ROASTED VEGETABLES

Yields: 3 adults (or a young family)

Ingredients:

4 beets
1 bunch of young carrots
1 fennel bulb
5 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons of olive oil
sprigs of thyme or rosemary
1/2 teaspoon of salt
freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425F.

Wash and trim leafy tops and root ends of vegetables. Peel beets. Smash garlic with the side of a spoon and peel. Toss vegetables and garlic in oil and place in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Don’t overcrowd the pan or the vegetables will steam instead of roast. Add herbs, salt and pepper.

Roast 40-55 minutes or until vegetables are tender and browned (fennel and carrots were done in 40 minutes and beets roasted for another 15 minutes).

CHICKEN BAKED IN PARCHMENT

Ingredients:

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
thyme or rosemary sprigs
1 lemon, quartered
olive oil
salt and pepper
Directions:
Preheat oven to 425F.
Rub the pan with butter or oil. Pat chicken breasts dry and rub them with olive oil, salt and pepper. Lay herb sprigs on top and cover them with parchment paper rubbed with butter (butter side touching the chicken breasts). Tuck the parchment paper ends under the chicken breasts to keep the moisture inside.
Bake until chicken breasts reach an internal temperature of 165F, 25 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven and let them rest for 5 minutes.

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