It was one of those days. I was all excited to volunteer for the first time in Anna’s class, and my car breaks down. Because it broke down at Katelyn’s preschool, I was able to get a lift from an unsuspecting mother as she was leaving the building. After working Anna’s class, Doug and I ended up waiting for the tow truck, getting it to the shop, yadda, yadda, yadda. This totally messed up my dinner plans. You see, Anna has a steel trap memory. She still talks about skinning her knee when she was 2 1/2 (she is almost 6), and also how at the same age she threw up cauliflower soup. Now she thinks she doesn’t like cauliflower, which I can understand. It’s not my favorite either, but cauliflower is awesome in a soup I make, and I think the “incident” may have soured her on the vegetable. Anna prides herself on her palate. She likes to take a bite of something and guess the ingredients. So, I planned on making the soup, having her close her eyes and guess the ingredients. I will then, do the reveal when she declares its deliciousness. I can’t out-fox her if she is home from school when I’m cutting up cauliflower, so I’ll have to save that one for tomorrow.
With my dinner plans out the window, I turned to another option for the week – – maple roasted chicken with winter vegetables. Sounds fancy, but it’s really easy. However, there was another glitch, because I didn’t have the recipe. So I called Jenny. First call, she is at the bank and couldn’t talk. Second time, she has to hang up because something about a $30 million art deal she is working. The nerve. Third time, her son had a potty accident, all the while her husband who is teaching seven college courses is trying to grade papers needing her to handle the situation. It probably didn’t help matters much that she also tried to bleach her teeth today, and now has white polka dots when she smiles. I mean, hate it for ya Jen, but I have to get dinner going. So, in between yells through her polka-dotted teeth to her son to wait a minute and stop screaming, she finally gave me the recipe. This is why she is my best friend.
Like I said, this maple roasted chicken is easy, and budget friendly. Just throw in what you think will work. I used potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, and two kinds of winter squash. Just don’t leave out the winter squash, because that is an important part of the dish. Got parsnips? Throw them in along with any other root vegetable you have on hand. I wouldn’t recommend beets though. That would just be weird.
The original recipe calls for roasting an entire chicken, but I got bone-in chicken breasts on sale for 67 cents a pound, and get this – – leg quarters for 37 cents a pound. The only expensive part of this recipe is the maple syrup. I wouldn’t use Aunt Jemima for this one. I tossed this dinner together at 4:45 p.m. and we were eating by 6 p.m. If you are so inclined, wild rice goes awesome with this dish.
Maple Roasted Chicken with Winter Vegetables
- 3 or more pounds of whole chicken, or bone-in chicken pieces
- Vegetables of your choice, such as carrots, potatoes, onions, winter squash, and celery. The amount of vegetables will depend on how much chicken you use. Keep in mind, vegetables will shrink during cooking, so use a generous amount.
- About 1/3 to 1/2 cup real maple syrup
- About 1 tsp of fresh or dried rosemary
- A little butter
Cut up vegetables in to large chunks and lay them in the bottom of an electric roaster (which is what I did) or a big casserole. If using whole chicken, you will place the vegetables around chicken. If using pieces, you will place on top of vegetables. Pre-heat oven to 400. Brush chicken with butter, sprinkle with salt, pepper and rosemary. Cook for 15 minutes. Baste with maple syrup every 10 minutes. You can expect this to take about an hour, but it really depends on the size and amount of chicken.