You would think that living in San Diego would be full of sunshine, tank tops and BBQ’s, but for us it’s been more about rain, hoodies and comfort food. I can’t complain though because it’s so nice to actually have some weather and be forced to stay inside and do nothing but play games by the fire, drink wine and roast chicken.
Arriving in San Diego was a huge sigh of relief after three weeks of moving hell. I now understand why moving is on the list of most stressful events in one’s life. As if packing up everything you own and moving away from a home that you’ve spent four years landscaping, upgrading and loving was hard enough, one of the first rooms I packed was the kitchen so we ate nothing but take-out for nearly three weeks. On one particularly bad night when Steve was in SF for work and we were 3 days from the big move I had a major meltdown. It was the kind of meltdown that included crying fits and then a pity party at McDonald’s where I scarfed down chicken nuggets covered in honey, a large fry and a coke. It was a little pathetic but it made me feel better – at least on an emotional level.
So needless to say that once we drove over the hill into San Diego and nestled into the family’s condo we went right to work planning our menus. Even though we are in a foodie’s paradise we stuck to a strict plan of eating in. Our pocket books and our bellies needed it.
With the weather so gloomy and gray I was craving a large helping of comfort foods and one of my favorites is roasted chicken on a platter of perfectly cooked veggies. 90% of the time Steve and I don’t eat meat but there are times when your body channels a memory from your childhood and there is nothing you can do but obey your stomach. I was a little nervous though because my last attempt at roasting a chicken left my dinner guests starving and my ego shattered. I’m embarrassed to admit it but the chicken was flat out raw and there was no redeeming myself. So I did what any cook in their right mind would do and waited five years before attempting it again. I picked up a Mary’s Bronze Chicken at Whole Foods, a bounty of fresh veggies from the Farmer’s Market and I called my mom.
I was shocked at how easy it was to create this fabulous dinner. Fifteen minutes of prep, 30 minutes in the oven and then 10 minutes for the chicken to rest while making a simple gravy. Steve loved it so much you would have thought I put a giant slice of cake in front of him.
My advice: go turn on your fireplace, pour yourself a glass of wine and roast a chicken. It will comfort your soul.
Cheve Chicken with Farmer Veg
1 2.5lb chicken (preferably pasture raised)
2 cloves of garlic chopped finely
2 Cajun Seasoning
1/4 cup butter semi-melted
1 white onion cut into quarters
6-8 small carrots
6-8 fingerling potatoes
2 stalks of celery
1/2 cup of chicken broth
- Heat the oven to 500º. Butter a 13×9 baking dish.
- Soften the butter in the microwave and stir in the garlic and good helping of seasoning. Loosen the skin from the bird with your fingers and rub the garlic butter mixture in between the skin and the chicken. Whatever is left over rub on the outside of the chicken and sprinkle with more seasoning salt.
- Squeeze half of the lemon all over the chicken and cut the other half into quarters and stuff it inside the chicken along with a quarter of the onion.
- Place chicken in the baking dish and place the veggies all around the chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and pour a half-cup of chicken broth into the pan and pop the pan into the oven!
- Bake the chicken for about 25 – 30 minutes. Watch it when it gets close to the end to make sure the skin doesn’t burn. You want the skin crispy just not burned.
- Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes. If you want to make a gravy take out some of the pan juices and put them in a sauce pan with a tablespoon or two of flour and whisk of medium heat until smooth.
- Serve with a big salad or yummy rice pilaf. Enjoy!