A last-minute meal made from odds and ends in my kitchen that turned out great!
Roasted Lemon and Garlic Chicken with Rosemary and Veggies
A simple, easy and tasty last-minute meal.
The other night, I was at home (eagerly awaiting the next episode of Jeopardy!) wondering what I was going to eat for dinner when I realized that I hadn’t really planned anything to cook. Since I love cooking so much, I’m usually pretty prepared to make a meal in terms of going to the store, getting the ingredients, preparing marinades ahead of time, etc. I cook a ton, so planning ahead just makes my life a lot easier. That being said, sometimes life (or an episode of Jeopardy!) gets in the way and I find myself starving at 7 PM on a Wednesday with absolutely no idea what I’m going to make.
Luckily, I had a few chicken breasts leftover from the night before, and when I poked around the fridge and cabinets, I also found lemons, garlic, a single (but very large) carrot, some fresh rosemary that was about a day from being tossed in the garbage and about half a bunch of leftover asparagus that I hadn’t yet cooked. I also found a quick-cook bag of wild rice, so I just went ahead and made all of it (when in doubt, right?) After I roasted the chicken with the veggies, I steamed the rice (90 seconds in the microwave, thanks Uncle Ben!), and added some feta cheese crumbles (I had just enough left in the fridge to make it worth my while) and finally tossed in some capers, because I firmly believe that, where there are lemons, there should also be capers. A drizzle of balsamic vinegar and some of the drippings from the roasting dish as a sauce, and voila! A delicious meal that I didn’t even plan to make!
I’m so happy I didn’t run out and grab something quick and unhealthy when I had the makings for a great dinner right under my nose. At the end of the day, I prefer planning my meals in advance, but that’s pretty much impossible to do every day. Every now and then it’s nice to see what you can come up with on the fly and, who knows, you may just find a new stand-by recipe (or you might make something completely gross and order a pizza, but at least you can say you tried). In my case, I will definitely recycle this lemon, garlic and rosemary chicken recipe in the future!
Ingredients (for the roast chicken):
Two large chicken breasts
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp store-bought Italian seasoning
Two sprigs rosemary (leaves removed and stems discarded)
1 lemon, cut into slices
4 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 bunch asparagus, cut into thirds
In a roasting dish, coat the chicken with 2 tbsp olive oil, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Add the lemon, carrots and garlic cloves. Sprinkle with rosemary and roast at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes, turning the chicken breasts once. Remove from oven and add asparagus, remaining 1 tbsp olive oil and a pinch more salt and pepper. Roast for another 15 minutes, until the asparagus is tender.
*My chicken breasts were very large, so I had to roast these for a while to cook them through. If you have small or medium sized chicken breasts, bump the heat to 400 (to get the veggies tender) and cook for a bit less time.