Recipe of the Week: Diana Henry's balsamic-roasted chicken with potatoes, onions
It's Thanksgiving week, which probably means you have turkey on your mind.
But until the big dinner, you might find yourself in need of a simple weeknight dish to serve guests who have already arrived in your home. Or maybe you're looking for a poultry alternative to turkey to serve on the big day.
Either way, here is one of Diana Henry's go-to chicken dishes. She's the author of several notable cookbooks to come out in the past 10 years, including an entire book dedicated to chicken. This recipe, however, is from "Pure Simple Cooking: Effortless Food Every Day" (Mitchell Beazley, $19.99), which originally came out in 2009 but was re-issued in paperback earlier this year. You could break down a whole chicken into its parts or use about eight chicken thighs, and if you have preserved lemons on hand or want to use sweet potatoes, Henry offers a few additional tweaks to the recipe in the headnote.
Chicken Baked with Red Onions, Potatoes and Rosemary
This simple recipe revolutionized my cooking. There’s no browning and everything’s cooked together in one dish, just thrown into the oven. It’s based on one in Antonio Carluccio’s book, "An Invitation to Italian Cooking," and is what home cooking should be: chunky, rustic and deeply savory.
If you want to kick this dish up a notch: Marinate the pieces of chicken in 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon pimenton (smoked Spanish paprika), 5 crushed garlic cloves and the finely sliced flesh of 1/2 preserved lemon, plus 2 tablespoons juice from the jar of lemons. Put into a roasting pan with 2 pounds unpeeled sweet potatoes that you have cut into big chunks, 2 red onions cut into wedges and salt and pepper. Bake in a 400-degree oven for 45 minutes, until cooked through, adding a handful of pitted black olives and the shredded zest of the lemon 15 minutes before the end. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley and mint or cilantro and serve.
— Diana Henry
2 red onions, each cut into 10 wedges
1 1/4 pounds new potatoes, unpeeled
2 bulbs garlic, separated into cloves, but not peeled
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
About 5 sprigs rosemary
1 (4-pound) roasting chicken, cut into 8 pieces, or 8 chicken thighs, rubbed with sea salt to crisp the skin
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Spread the vegetables and garlic in a single layer over the bottom of a huge roasting pan so that they will crisp and brown beautifully. Season with salt and pepper, pour over the oil and balsamic vinegar and add the rosemary, leaving some sprigs whole and stripping the leaves off the rest. Toss the vegetables with your hands and tuck the chicken pieces in among them. Bake for 45 minutes, until cooked through.
Transfer everything to a big platter — or bring to the table in the roasting pan. Serve a green salad on the side.
— From "Pure Simple Cooking: Effortless Meals Every Day" by Diana Henry (Mitchell Beazley, $19.99)