Monday, July 7, 2014

Super Simple Supper

I have long been on a quest to find easy, tasty meals that I can make on weeknights. Bonus points if they are healthy and delicious enough to make on the weekend because, as work outside the home parents, we cram a lot of activity into the weekends so I am not always up for spending a lot of time in the kitchen even when I technically have more time to devote to cooking.

One meal we’ve been enjoying recently that fits these criteria perfectly is five-spice chicken and roasted ratatouille. With the ample hands-off cooking time, it is incredibly easy to make and is flavorful and healthy to boot. Jason is a big fan of the chicken, in particular, and I find the roasted ratatouille to be pretty versatile—as a side dish, as a filling for frittata or quiche, mixed with couscous, etc. It’s delicious in any form.

Five Spiced Chicken and Roasted Ratatouille
(The chicken recipe is from Hellobee and is the original recipe that I used to make the BBQ chicken recipe from the Memorial Day post—only adaptations are to quantity)

4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
1.5 teaspoons paprika (I used smoked paprika)
¾ teaspoon ground ginger
¾ teaspoon garlic powder
¾ teaspoon white pepper
3 teaspoons coarse salt
¼ cup chicken stock or water
2 medium zucchini
2 small or 1 large eggplant
1 red pepper
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
1 TBL olive oil

To make the chicken: mix together the ginger, garlic powder, white pepper, paprika and salt until well combined. Divide in half (save one half in an airtight container for the next time you want to make this dish!). Preheat the oven to 375. Place the chicken thighs in a baking dish. Loosen skin from meat with your fingers. Sprinkle some the spice mixture under the skin of each thigh; sprinkle remaining on top of the skin. Add water or chicken stock to the bottom of the baking dish. Cover the dish with aluminum foil (try and cover loosely otherwise the skin will stick to the foil). Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour.

To make the ratatouille: Chop the zucchini, eggplant and red pepper into 1 inch pieces and place onto a sheet pan. Add the pint of tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake at 375 for 45-60 minutes, stirring a few times to prevent the veggies from sticking to the pan (you can skip this step if you line your pan with parchment!)

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