Recipe: Onion Roasted Chicken

What do you do when you have to make a quick, no-hands-on dinner?  In my house, you make Onion Roasted Chicken Breasts.  My son and his girlfriend were coming over for dinner and I didn’t want to spend a lot of time slaving over a stove top, so this was my way of making something that was tasty, low “tech”, and “guest-worthy”.  I hope you enjoy it!

I started with two large chicken breasts.  Since I was feeding three people (one of whom was my son), I decided to slice the breasts in half, width-wise, to extend the amount of food without having to wait for three thick chicken breasts to cook through.  Once the breasts were cut into four separate cutlets, I put them into a bag with a sliced onion and a mixture of salad dressing (I used a lite sesame Asian vinaigrette), Chardonnay (a stainless steel Chardonnay works best here… just be sure to use what you like), and some salt/pepper.  I let the chicken/onion mixture marinate for a half hour.OnionRoastedChicken

When my guests arrived, I preheated the oven to 400 degrees and covered a baking pan with foil for easy cleanup.  I used tongs to remove the chicken and onions from the marinade and placed them in the baking sheet (as shown in the photo).  I decided against pouring the small excess marinade over the chicken.  I could have poured it into a pan to create a sauce, but this wasn’t that sort of  a dinner… I wanted something more simple.

The chicken took about 20 minutes to roast.  While the chicken and onions were roasting, I popped a bag of green beans into the microwave and cooked them for 6 minutes (until they were steamed thoroughly).  I then pulled everything out of the oven/microwave and plated our dinner.  Had I been feeding my husband, I would have added some garlic toasts or a “starch” of some sort, but this was the simple, easy dinner that my son preferred.

You can also make this dinner with fish, if you’d like.  There are many options when it comes to a dinner recipe such as this… try your hand at using your own favorite ingredients and have fun.  You’re feeding the ones that you love… enjoy!

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Recipe: Weeknight Chicken and Potatoes

I really love meals that don’t take a huge amount of effort on my part.  The oven does most of the work and I just transfer things from one place to another until dinner just “comes together”.  Such was the case with this meal.

I started with a few potatoes.  Much depends on how many mouths I’m feeding at any given meal, but I usually try to stick with the “one-and-a-half potato per person” rule if I’m just roasting these bad boys.  I diced them into chunks and then diced a half an onion to add some flavor.  Once these were done, I tossed both in a bowl with some balsamic salad dressing and laid them out on a baking sheet to roast for an hour or so in a 375 degree oven.

Since the potatoes were going to take awhile, I started the chicken a little after I had the potatoes in the oven.  I had purchased “thin cut chicken breasts” from the store, with the intention of using them for my chicken prosciutto rolls, but totally forgot to pick up the Boursin cheese.  Instead, I had 6 lovely thin chicken breasts that I decided to simply saute on the stove top.  I seasoned them, using more of the same balsamic salad dressing that I’d put on the potatoes, and then added more salt and pepper for good measure.  Using a heavy skillet, I sauteed the breasts in a little olive oil and butter until they were nicely browned and cooked through.  Since there were six breasts in the package, I did them in two shifts so they didn’t crowd the pan and cooked more evenly.  Once the outsides were nicely caramelized and toasty, I removed them to a platter and popped some foil on top to keep them warm. Note: I also put the platter into the oven for about 5-7 minutes before dinner was ready to reheat just a touch.

With all the yummy bits that were left in the pan, I thought a nice gravy was in order to make dinner to come together.  I put a pat of butter and a spoonful of flour into the skillet and let the fat/flour combine and sizzle a bit to cook off the raw floWeeknight ChickenNpotatoesur taste.  I then added a healthy helping of James River Meritage Red Wine (I chose the Meritage simply because that’s what I had in the fridge… I could have just as easily switched out the red wine for James River Reserve Chardonnay.  Use what you have available or what you like best) and whisked the gravy together to incorporate the flavors and pick up all the bits that had been left in the pan from the sauteed chicken.  After tasting the gravy, I adjusted the seasonings with some salt, pepper, and dry Italian seasonings until I was satisfied.

Oh, and I had thrown some broccoli florets on top of the potatoes (after the potatoes were almost finished) so we’d have a green vegetable for dinner… this was purely for my benefit, since none of my guys have any interest in eating green vegetables unless they’re coerced.

For serving, I put a single layer of the roasted potatoes/onions on the plate and topped them with a chicken breast and some pan gravy.   Obviously, this picture is of the plate I made up for my son, since there are two breasts on the plate and not a speck of green to be seen.   It was a really tasty dinner, even if I was the only one to eat the green stuff.  Maybe you’ll have better luck with your family if you top their broccoli with a little gravy?