Thursday, July 26, 2012

As Local as It Gets

Can I just say I am really excited about, and a little proud of, this meal? This one, right here.

It wasn't anything difficult, and there weren't any exotic ingredients. What made me so excited is that it was all home-grown or local food going into it. We grew the potatoes, carrots, and rosemary; our friends gave us the zucchini they grew, and the chicken was locally-raised bought at the farmers' market. I guess the olive oil, mustard, salt, and pepper weren't so local, but I think that can be excused. We also had some of our sweet corn with dinner.

The recipe was touted as a make-and-freeze meal to be cooked later, but why would I freeze it when we could enjoy it fresh? Although if I were overrun with vegetables, it would be handy to mix up a batch and freeze it to enjoy later. Here's the recipe as it was printed.

Rosemary Chicken with Zucchini
Real Simple from a couple years ago

Buy It
1 pound new potatoes
2 carrots
2 small zucchini (I used one large)
Olive oil
Whole-grain mustard (we had spicy brown in the fridge so that's what I used)
1 bunch rosemary
Kosher salt and pepper
4 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 1-quart resealable plastic freezer bags

Freeze It
Quarter the potatoes. Peel the carrots. Cut the carrots and zucchini into 2-inch stick. Mix them in a bowl with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons mustard, 1 tablespoon rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Season the chicken with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Divide everything among the 4 bags. Freeze, until ready to cook, for up to 3 months.

Cook It
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Remove the bags from the freezer (you'll need one bag for each serving). Empty the contents of the bags into a baking dish. Roast for 25 minutes. Toss the vegetables, turn the chicken, and continue roasting until the chicken is cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes more. Divide among individual plates.

Like I said, I didn't freeze it so mine went right from prep to a 9x13" glass baking dish. I just laid the chicken on top of the vegetables and the roasting time ended up being about the same. We all loved the vegetables done this way; even Bert scarfed them down. I might use this process again just to make vegetables for a side. When I go for seconds on veggies, you know the recipe is a keeper.

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