You need that go-to, easy, healthy meal sometimes.
You know what type of meal I’m talking about: a meal that is nutritional, tasty, and most of all requires minimal hands-on time. Some days are just too busy or you’re just too tired to stir risotto or knead pizza dough. Some days call for roasted chicken – like this rosemary and shallot roasted chicken we made the other night.
This week has been one of those weeks for us. Our wedding, honeymoon, and celebration of Ryan’s birthday at the local Brewfest have been a joyful blur, and all of a sudden we are back to real life. No more napping after a four mile hike, no more watching movies until midnight, no more having someone else cook for you. We’re back to waking up early to run before working, back to a house that needed cleaning, thank-you notes to write, and our own dinners to cook.
Admittedly, I love being back to all those things. I thrive on running before sunrise and my great joy is putting a homemade dinner on the table each night. (Please don’t hate me). As excited as we are to be back, that doesn’t mean we aren’t tired. Even Charlie’s extra sleepy after his week of playing with his puppy-uncles (my parents’ three rescue dogs). As excited as I am to be back and making home-cooked meals for us, I haven’t had the energy to be creative and fancy in the kitchen this week. I was almost as sleepy as the little puggle.
The first couple nights back we devoured the best ever enormous salads. Both Ryan and I felt like our bodies were screaming for fresh vegetables and healthy fats so we had salads piled high with spinach, avocado, hard goat cheese, red peppers, onions, and sirloin steak. Seriously, these salads were so amazing that we sat there in silence as we dug into them, surfacing only to tell the other how amazing this salad tasted.
By Tuesday, however, all the chopping that went into the salads and veggie sandwiches were had been eating sounded tiring. I know, I’m so lazy. I had a Google+ meeting for the other blog at 7pm, and wanted an easy dinner that would cook itself during that time. With perfect happenstance, Target’s grocery section had fresh whole chickens on sale this week. We love roasted chicken, and it all fell into place too perfectly. A pop it in the oven and forget about it for two hours meal, perfect for a tired couple that still wanted high quality food. Roasted chicken stretches so wonderfully throughout the week – perfect for quick lunch salads or sandwiches and quick protein boosts to future dinners. Then you get to boil the bones and make stock for soup. We live off roasted chickens (and turkeys) in fall and winter.
You just can’t beat the simplicity of roasted chickens either. They only require a little bit of prep work and the oven does the rest of the work! Don’t be afraid of making this dish. I was totally freaked out the first time I roasted a chicken and the first Thanksgiving turkey I made – what if it burnt? Or was raw on the inside? Or dried out? If you prep it right and let it cook at the right temperature long enough, it’s foolproof. Charlie could (and would) make it all the time if he had thumbs. Instead he just settles for frenetically begging during the whole cooking, serving, and eating process.
We served this chicken with a side of brown rice with garlic and spinach. It was quite simple to make. I sauteed garlic in about ½ tablespoon of butter, added a few handfuls of spinach, heated up a rice packet from Target (I know, but remember, I’m lazy), mixed it all together, and topped with fresh cracked pepper. Healthy, delicious, and warm on a cool fall evening.
- 1 whole roasting chicken
- 2 shallots
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Dried or fresh rosemary
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Place the chicken in a roasting pan and remove all the gizzards and parts stuffed inside.
- Evenly drizzle the olive oil over the chicken, covering most of the skin.
- Chop the shallots into eighths and stuff them into the inside of the chicken.
- Season with salt and pepper as desired. Coat skin with as much dried rosemary as desired - I used about 1-2 tablespoons.
- Cook in oven for 90 minutes to two hours or until internal temperature reads 165* and there is no pink inside.
- Remove from oven and let sit for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving.
- I cooked this chicken, which was on the smaller side, for two hours and it turned out perfectly.
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