Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

On Top Chef this week, Tom Colicchio lambasted a chef for using boneless, skinless chicken breast to the tune of “how stupid are you!” and “it has no flavor!”  All of the other chefs nodded in agreement – who, in their right mind would use boneless skinless chicken breasts? Boneless skinless chicken breasts are the scourge of protein – you might as well be using something *gasp* CANNED!

Look, I get it.  Chicken with the skin indubitably has way more flavor, fat, and other components chefs find sexy.  But you know what it also has?  Bones.  And at some point as either the chef or the eater you have to remove them, which totally grosses me out.  I have few exceptions to my “boneless” rule, and this recipe is one of them.  It’s the ultimate winter meal – hearty, comforting, inexpensive, and easy.  The only real prep here is chopping, and otherwise it all bakes in one pan as a complete meal.  Also note, you could easily substitute the vegetables based on what you have, what’s on sale, or what you prefer.  I do think the carrots, potatoes, and Brussels sprouts are pretty integral.  It’s easy to scale this recipe, too – I plan on 2 pieces of chicken per person.  This iteration serves about 6.

wpid-20131119_194844.jpg

Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

4lbs chicken thighs and drumsticks

1lb fresh Brussels sprouts

1lb small red potatoes

1/2lb parsnips

1/2lb button mushrooms

6 carrots

6 cloves garlic

2T olive oil

1T dried Thyme

4T butter

a few sprigs of fresh rosemary

1. Preheat the oven to 475.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil (unless scraping schmaltz is your thing).  Prep the vegetables by chopping into bite-sized pieces.  Cut the sprouts in half, peel and chop the carrots and parsnips, quarter the potatoes, peel and half the garlic, and cut the mushrooms into fourths.  Place all of the veg in a large bowl and toss with the olive oil.  Arrange all of the veg onto the baking sheet in an even layer.

2. Melt the butter and stir in the thyme.  Arrange the chicken pieces on top of the vegetables and season everything liberally with salt and pepper.  Next, using a pastry brush, brush the butter mixture onto the chicken until all pieces are covered.  Break the rosemary into small pieces and sprinkle across the top.

3. Bake for about 40 minutes, turning the pan once or twice to ensure that it cooks evenly.  Let the chicken rest for a few minutes, then toss the vegetables to make sure the juices from the chicken are distributed (the schmaltz on the bottom of the pan is the best part).

Source: Adapted from Cook’s Country