Chicken and Spice and Everything Nice
With busy times ahead, holidays, recitals, practices. and entertaining guests, here’s an easy main dish that will be ready in 45 minutes and almost no prep time. That’s 45 minutes you can throw a few potatoes in the microwave and steam some broccoli on the stove top in the last three minutes, giving you plenty of time to help a kid or two with homework or walk the dogs or maybe both. I love the set it and forget it kind of meals and this is one of them.
I usually buy frozen chicken at the grocery store and there was a great sale on chicken leg quarters. Frozen breasts would work as well (with the oven at 350° and five or ten less minutes cook time) but legs have a lot more flavor because of the fat content. Legs also contain a bit more protein but breasts contain more than three times the iron. What ever your needs be, flavor, nutrition, or budget, chicken in any form is still a good alternative to red meat. For now, flavor and budget are the winners in my book so here’s the plan for the next busy evening.
Two days before take five leg quarters out of the freezer and put them in a sturdy gallon size zip-lock bag. When it’s about an hour before you want dinner to be served, preheat the oven to 375°. In a 13″x8″ casserole dish arrange the leg quarters so that they are evenly distributed. I gave mine a quick chop to separate the thigh from the drumstick. In a small ramekin I mixed up even dashes of salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, sage, and parsley flakes. I sprinkled this mixture evenly over each piece of meat and tossed them in to oven for 45 minutes. When they were finished, I quickly removed the chicken from the drippings with the tongs, to a plate to rest for about fifteen additional minutes. This gave me enough time to microwave some potatoes, steam some broccoli on the stove-top and garnish the chicken with a sprig or two of celery leaves. In the end, and with very little trouble, we had a delicious, nutritious, and colorful meal for five, with lots left over. And that will make the next meal even easier