Monday, March 5, 2012

Lunch Box Chronicles: Day One Hundred Fifty-Six (On the Need for a Clean-Up Crew and Roasted Rosemary Chicken)

So, on this most recent Sunday, I did one of my all out baking bashes. The big difference, however, was that my husband was not home. He was traveling back from Maine with the kids. I foolishly thought to myself “What an opportunity! Cooking without distraction.” Indeed, I was without distraction, but I was also without my most faithful clean-up crew of one, my husband, Tim.

I expected the brood to be home 2 hours later than they arrived, but with a combination of no traffic and free sailing on their trek south, they traveled from Maine to NYC in a record 4.5 hours. When I heard the knock on the door, I was convinced it was a neighbor seeking spelt bread. But, no!! It was the family ready to be nourished after a long, but not long-enough trip.

“Yikes!” I said, “DO NOT go in the kitchen. It is a disaster!” My creations for the evening included meatballs, homemade sauce, farro pasta, Spelt Right Pizza Dough stuffed with the meatballs, and chicken stew. Definitely too much even for this mult-tasker.

I managed to trip over the table and chairs (which I moved for a food photo op) and meander around the pots, pans and half opened ingredients in order to throw together plates of homemade madness for the kids.

I was so exhausted from the making of the meals that I could barely partake in the eating of it. “Jees,” I said to Tim, with my feet up on the couch, “I don’t usually make such a mess!”

He gently corrected me. “Umm, maybe you do, but I’m usually right behind you cleaning up.”

By George! Tim is right! And, despite being exhausted from his trip from Maine (and his 2 hour round-trip within Maine to bring Emma back to college), Tim rolled up his sleeves and went to work unwinding the disaster I had created. There are many reasons to love this man and this is one of them.

Bon Appetit. Here is the recipe for chicken stew, one of the recipes of the night. Recommendation: do not attempt this without your clean-up crew.

Roasted Chicken

One Chicken Cut-Up

2 Potatoes cut in chunks (or in 1/4 longs)

2-3 Carrots cut in 3” pieces

1-2 Celery Stalks cut in 3” pieces

1 onion – cut in 1/6 wedges

Lemon juice (juice of 1-2 lemons)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 cup of liquid (chicken stock or red or white wine)

3 gloves of garlic chopped finely and blended with sea salt

1/4 bunch fresh Italian parsley

rosemary, salt and pepper to taste

Place all solid ingredients in roasting pan. Cover with EVOO, hand rub seasonings. Add garlic. Add liquid (I had only red wine in the house and it worked fine, though I would have preferred a chicken stock or white wine).

Cover pan, and bake at 425 for 30 min – 1 hour until chicken is done and vegetables are soft.

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