Monday, January 18, 2016

Roasted Chicken and All the Veggies

For someone who doesn't make a huge effort to eat vegetables (besides potatoes), I was able to use everything from my last CSA box before getting the new one today. One of the vegetables that I was nervous to use was fennel. Technically, I think this is an herb...plant...root something? 

I have never cooked with fennel, but lo and behold Ree Drummond a.k.a. The Pioneer Woman came through with an episode that featured chicken with fennel. I don't know about you, but I am a devout Food Network watcher, her show in particular, and record every episode so that I can watch them before going to bed. What can I say? It's soothing. 

In this particular episode, she made sheet pan meals and one of them was chicken thighs roasted atop a bunch of vegetables. Easy. In the crisper, we had carrots, onion, green beans, and the fennel. I bought a lemon at the store and chicken thighs, which together totaled under $7. 

Similar to what she had done on the show, I mixed olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice and dipped the chicken thighs in it before laying them on top of the cut up vegetables. I  squeezed more lemon over everything and sprinkled with a little more salt and lemon pepper seasoning. 

Into the oven (on a foil-lined sheet -- her tips are so great!) for about 50 minutes at 425 degrees and we had a healthy and inexpensive meal. 

I paired it with rice and beans, which was easy to make, too. Just use one can of kidney beans, one cup of chicken broth, and then add a package of frozen rice. The key is to simmer the kidney beans and broth together for awhile until it becomes thick. Then, add a lot of seasoning! I added salt, garlic powder, a bunch of cayenne, and bay leaf. They turned out really delicious! I'll add andouille sausage next time and make it a full meal. 

The fennel, which I have read has a licorice taste, was similar to an onion texture with a sweet-ish, almost citrus taste. It worked well with the dish. 

The thing I'm figuring out as I cook more and more at home is that I have been under-seasoning my food. It's not just lacking salt, but actual seasoning. I mean lemon pepper is a god send and I love heat with nearly anything. If chicken and vegetables seem too plain for you, think about spicing them up. What I made was enough for Sunday night supper plus leftovers for two. 

Budget-friendly and healthy -- win for us!

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