Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Roast chicken and vegetables with rosemary honey glaze

Andrew came to visit this past weekend, and in anticipation of cooking dinner one night, we tossed around some food ideas last week.  "Maple syrup and pecans" came up, which evolved to "honey and pecans" (because I already had honey and didn't want to buy maple syrup).  Ultimately, we decided to make roast chicken, carrots, and potatoes with rosemary-infused honey glaze.

Chicken after baking (turned pink from the purple carrots underneath)

On Saturday morning, I bought potatoes (red, purple, and yellow), carrots (crazy purple- and rainbow-colored!), and rosemary at the Santa Monica Farmer's Market.  Boneless/skinless chicken thighs and pecans came from Trader Joe's.  The potato-stand owner at the Market gave me some tips once I told him what we were planning to cook: 1) Anything other than salt and oil will get scorched when roasted at 400 degF, so add pepper or glazes towards the end; and 2) Spread out potato pieces or else they won't get crisp in the oven.

Potatoes, dutifully spread out

In the evening, we arranged the chicken pieces on top of the peeled/chopped carrots, coated the chicken with some safflower oil and a sprinkling of salt, and baked it all at 400 degF.  The potatoes were baked separately.  Meanwhile, we gently heated honey with some rosemary on the stove for nearly half an hour.  The fragrant sauce was poured onto the chicken, followed by a generous sprinkling of pecans, for the final 10-15 minutes of baking.  On the side we had some salad (spicy lettuce/frisee blend plus cherry tomatoes) and a little raisin-hazelnut-multigrain bread, also from the market, and poured some Chianti.

Our verdict: this cooking experiment was a success!  The melding of sweet, savory, herbal, and nutty flavors, with contrasting textures from the chicken, vegetables, and nuts, made the dish particularly satisfying, and somehow reminiscent of Thanksgiving dinner.  In any future iterations, we would want to add some acid, such as red wine vinegar, to help cut the sweetness; on Saturday, the salad (which we ate without dressing) provided that balance.