Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Paprika Roasted Chicken, Broccoli Raab with Garlic and Braised Potatoes, HTCE pgs. 270, 343 and 644

I worked from home yesterday after it snowed about 10 inches here in Inwood. I never left the house and decided to make a cozy home cooked meal for Ben (my husband who is becoming a Bittman devotee) for when he got home out of the cold.

Ben and I often roast chickens on Sundays, but I've never done it on my own. I'm a bit squeamish about chicken innards, but felt brave and convinced myself I could do it, with Bittman's guidance of course! We normally use an adjustable metal rack, but Bittman's recipe just calls for a cast iron pan. I used my trusty Le Creuset (what would I do without you??) dutch oven. The recipe was so simple and easy and came out amazingly. First, heat the oven to 450 degrees. Place the deep pan or dutch oven inside after five minutes. Remove the innards (let's not talk about that part!) of the chicken, sprinkle one tablespoon paprika over the chicken and drizzle 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil on top and massage the entire bird. Place rosemary sprigs on top of the bird. Once the oven has reached 450, pop the bird in the (very hot--be careful!) dutch oven. If you were a sane person, that would be it for about an hour. If you are anything like me, this is just the beginning.
On to the broccoli and potatoes. Although Bittman's recipe for both the potatoes and raab were simple, it was just too many pots for a Monday night. In the future, I think I will jsut toss some potatoes and carrots at the bottom of the dutch oven (to roast in the juices) and make a salad. But, that's not what I did. You live and you learn.
I've been wanting to incorporate more greens in my diet ever since reading Doris' post about kale and reading Bittman's "Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating." I liked the taste of the recipe, but both Ben and I found the raab to be a little bitter (turns out broccoli raab is a relative of the turnip!) for our palate. I think in the future I will stick to regular broccoli (even though broccoli raab is not related to broccoli, but instead is a descendant from a wild herb)or kale. But, I digress. As I said, the recipe was simple. Blanch the raab for 3 minutes, plunge in ice water, remove and squeeze the excess water. Bittman says the raab will keep in the fridge for up to two days at this point, so it could be a good food to make ahead of time for quicker meals on those crazy weeknights. Next, add a little olive oil to a pan and add garlic slivers, letting them soften a bit before adding the raab. Cook until garlic is tender and slightly golden.
I made the potatoes at the same time--which is where I got in a little trouble-- the food came out perfectly, but I felt a bit harried. I like cooking to feel a little more creative and relaxing, almost meditative. I'm still learning how to deal with multiple pots at once.
I will definitely make these potatoes again. Basically all you do is peel and cut up the potatoes into chunks. Add olive oil to a skillet or braising pan (I used this, my second favorite pot/pan. Thank you wedding registry!) then add one small onion diced and saute until soft. Add potatoes until slightly golden and then pour in 2 cups broth. Let simmer for about 25 minutes, et voila, one of the most amazing tasting potato dishes I've ever made. Ben and I ate the meal while sitting on our cushions in front of the coffee table in the living room. He and the cat could not get enough. Fortunate for us, the recipes we used serve 4 and we are only 2.1 (Kali our cat is very small), so we will have plenty of leftovers for tonight.


  1. Wow! This all looks so good! I'm totally with you on the multiple dishes quandry - I don't like feeling hurried or stressed in my kitchen either.

  2. Talk about comfort food! Your dinner must have been absolutely delicious. Yum.

  3. I know! It was so good on that cold snowy day! And I changed the plan to his basic braised potatoes with onions, no garlic after we talked. Too much garlic!! Merci!

  4. Love your Blog. We are not as organized as you but like your inspiration.


  5. Los Angeles GirlMay 14, 2010 at 11:20 PM

    Good for you. I got a chuckle - felt as if I had been in the kitchen with you looking over your shoulder, Thanks