by Lisa

This is one of the easiest & fastest ways to prepare chicken in the winter, and it has the added virtue of being really adaptable.  It’s not a recipe, but a technique, so you can use whatever cuts of chicken your family likes best, whatever fresh or dried herbs you prefer, and add a few root vegetables, or not.  It’s also virtually fool proof-the technique makes it pretty much impossible to dry out the chicken.  You can serve it with rice, made in your rice cooker, or baked potatoes, or just some good fresh bread, and a side salad, or if you’re feeling ambitious, a simple sautee of greens or steamed broccoli.  For a busy family, this dinner is a godsend.

The Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • Bone-in chicken parts: legs, thighs, breasts, or a combination–enough to feed your family
  • 2-3 springs fresh thyme, rosemary, oregano, or a combination, or a teaspoon or so dried
  • 1/2 cup white wine or chicken broth
  • Optional:  whole, unpeeled garlic cloves; carrots, sliced in half lengthwise; whole baby leeks or green onions; quartered onions; 2-3 canned plum tomatoes….be imaginative, use what you have…
  • Equipment: heavy bottomed, oven proof sauce or saute pan w/lid

The Technique:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

On the stove, brown the chicken in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. The parts won’t be cooked through–you just want them to acquire a nice, rich color.

Deglaze the pan with the white wine or broth, scraping up all the bits that cling to the bottom. Simmer until most, but not all of the liquid is evaporated. You’ll want about 1/4 cup of liquid to remain in the pan.

Add your herbs and any vegetables (or not) you are choosing to add.

COVER the pan and set it in the oven to finish cooking.  Depending on the size of your parts, this will take about 20-25 minutes.  The chicken cooks pretty quickly, so make sure any vegetables are chopped small enough to finish cooking in that time.  The roast should produce a lovely, rich sauce, which you can spoon over the chicken and/or rice.