Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lunch Week 7: Roast Chicken and Sausage with Potatoes

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it, unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided. So my lunch for the week: Roast Chicken and Sausage with Potatoes Sometimes when it's cold out and I'm feeling tired, I make a one pan meal that cooks in the over. And what better to make in the winter than roast chicken and potatoes? So I start off with some red potatoes. I cut them up into smaller pieces but still left them slightly large. To that, I added some fennel. Now fennel is a strange vegetable to me. I hate how it tastes when raw. But roasted in the over? Love it! It loses its anise/licorice flavor and becomes something delicious. So here I'll show you how to cut up a fennel. First, cut off the large green stems. I like to save them for stock. Then cut the bulb in half lengthwise. Now you can see the core. With your knife, cut the core out by slicing along the edge of the core in a triangular shape. Once you made your cuts, take your hand and just peel away the core. It should just easily come off. Here you have one half that is cored and one half that is not. Then I took the rest of the fennel and sliced it up into smaller pieces that were similar in size to the potatoes. I also added some onions to the mix. So in the pan I have a layer of potatoes and then a layer of mixed onions and fennel. I seasoned the vegetables with salt, pepper, fresh thyme, red pepper flakes, and oil. On top, I layered the chicken drumstick and the Italian sausage. The chicken is just slightly seasoned with salt, pepper, and oil. The whole pan went into a 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes. If you're unsure about the chicken being cooked, use an instant thermometer. If it reads 180 degrees internally, then it's cooked. In this case, make sure to turn the chicken and sausages over as the bottom will not cook as quickly as the top. Once flipped, return back into the over for 15 minutes. The meat is browned and smells delicious. I left the chicken on the bone and with skin to flavor the vegetables. I removed the meats in order to cook the vegetabled some more. I like my vegetables a little more browned. They should be fully cooked by now but I wanted more color. I raised the temperature to 400 degrees and put the pan back in for 30 minutes. Potatoes browned and onions and fennel are soft and delicious. For aesthetic reasons, I removed the chicken skins and bones. I also sliced the sausages up. First, I layer a bed of the veggies, then the meat goes in top. The chicken and sausages are really juicy. The potatoes soaked up some of the lovely juices and there's a little kick from the red pepper flakes. The vegetables are well flavored and it's just what winter calls for.

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