Dinner in the City–Roast Chicken Breast

I’m not in the city that often these days, but when I am, occasionally I’ll cook in my city kitchen.  This is one of my “city” meals.  It was made in my tiny NYC kitchen, on a tiny stove and with only one baking dish–no searing or frying on the stovetop.   Cleanup and ingredients are minimal–I don’t keep my city kitchen stocked as well as my Southampton kitchen, but I do keep certain staples–good olive oil, salt, pepper and some dried herbs. 

Tonight the seasoning is herbs de provence–not very Italian but excellent with all things roasted.  It’s got thyme, tarragon, fennel seeds, and it keeps for a very long time.  I know that most food purists say that herbs should be thrown away after a year, lest they lose potency, but it all depends on how freshly dried they were when you bought them.  My dried rosemary from Beppi’s garden is still going strong after 2 years.

Anyway, for tonight’s meal, the chicken breast halves (with skin and on the bone) get seasoned, placed on a pizza pan (low sides, maximal browning) and allowed to roast uncovered for about forty minutes.  Because there’s room around the chicken, I’m roasting potatoes and carrots in small pieces (they don’t take too much longer to cook than the chicken breast).  Once the chicken breast comes out to rest, the potatoes and carrots finish cooking.  If you’ve timed it right, they should take another ten  minutes or so to finish browning while the chicken rests, then the meal is ready. 

As a green vegetable I’m serving sauteed broccolini.  The broccolini can be made all in one skillet without any prior blanching.  Just place one bunch of washed, chopped broccolini in a hot skillet with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 2 tablespoons water, some salt and pepper.  Cover and simmer over medium-high heat.  The water will steam the broccolini, then evaporate, while the oil that remains will caramelize them just a bit.  A little lemon zest at the end is nice, as well.

Although I dislike food smells in my little apartment, the aroma of chicken with  herbs de provence is one that I’ll tolerate any night of the week!

Roast Chicken Breast with Carrots and Potatoes

serves 2

1 split chicken breast, skin-on, bone-in

2 yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1″ cubes

2 fat carrots, peeled and sliced thinly on the diagonal

2 tsps dried herbs de provence

2 tbls olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425

On a pizza or sheet pan, season chicken and vegetables generously with salt, pepper and herbs.  Rub with oil and roast for about 40 minutes, basting once or twice.

 Remove chicken breasts after 4 minutes and allow potatoes and carrots to brown a bit more for about 10 – 15 minutes (unless they’re already browned–different ovens brown differently).

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