Last week I had a dream that a high school acquaintance told me on Facebook I should “stop by sometime” — and I did. Totally unannounced. I just opened the door to her house, took in the very confused faces of the kids I’ve only ever seen on Instagram, and was like, “So I’m here! I was thinking we could roast some chicken!”
In all seriousness, you guys. I was there to roast chicken. Simple as that.
And you know, she seemed a little fazed, but not overly so. Instead she kind of just exchanged glances with Jesse Pinkman and his street team, who — duh — were gathered around the living room watching football, and told me the rest of the family would be over soon. That dinner would be on the late side because her mother-in-law had to pick up cannoli from the bakery across town instead of the shop on the corner. She told me she had just bought new Ziploc bags, and they were in the freezer.
Then Vin Diesel offered me a beer, declared I was “family now” and reminded me that the cook never cleans. At this, Jesse’s crew nodded subtly in acknowledgement. They’d be doing the dishes.
There are so, so many things, you guys. I don’t even know.
The next day, I made chicken. I had read this post from Gina a few weeks back, and I’d been thinking about Nigella’s recipe for chicken and ribs, and I guess the two just married in my subconscious with the all-star cast of my Netflix queue. I have no idea.
But this was the result.
Totes delish, totes seasonal, TOTES SIMPLE skillet chicken that is heartbreakingly attractive in the pan and really freaking good eats. I threw this in the oven for a weekday lunch while my friend Mir was in town, and we picnic’d on the living room floor, ooohing and ahhing at all the pretty colors.
To break it down: the chicken is crisp-skinned and flavorful, the veggies tender with sticky, caramelized edges. The pan drippings, gah. Just gah. Mopped up with some peppery aroogsyoolas? Gah times a billion.
Vin Diesel is such a badass.
Crispy Chicken & Root Veggies Skillet (gluten-free)
By Emily Stoffel
Cook time: 45 mins, plus marinating | Serves: 2 with leftovers
- 1.5 to 2 lbs organic, free-range chicken drummies, skin-on, bone-in (about 5 drummies)
- 1/4 cup olive oil (plus a drizzle for searing)
- 1/4 cup GOOD maple syrup
- 1 tsp dry mustard (recommended: Colman’s)
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2-3 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into about 1/2″ dice
- 2 parsnips, peeled and cut into about 1/2″ dice
- fresh herbs for garnish
- arugula for serving
Combine olive oil, maple syrup and all spices in a large Ziploc bag. Add chicken and marinate overnight (or at least a couple of hours).
Remove chicken from fridge about 30 mins before cooking. Preheat oven to 425F. Add a good drizzle of olive oil (or other cooking oil of your choice) to a large cast-iron skillet and heat over med-high flame until oil shimmers or bubbles form around the tip of a wooden spoon. Remove chicken pieces from marinade (reserve marinade!), shaking off any excess, and place skin-side down in the hot pan. Chicken should sizzle. Sear for about 6 or 7 minutes.
While chicken sears, add your diced veggies to the chicken marinade and give ‘em a good toss. Don’t worry about reusing the chickeny marinade. These guys are gonna be thoroughly cooked.
Flip chicken pieces and add all veggies and reserved marinade to pan, nestling them down around the chicken legs. Throw the whole pan into the oven for about 30 minutes or until juices run clear, gently tossing veggies once.
Allow chicken to sit for 10 mins before serving over arugula with caramelized veggies and plenty of pan drippings. (Die hards, please feel free to drag greens directly through the pan.)
Disclosure: I received complimentary products from Colman’s Mustard for recipe testing. As always, I recommend only those items that I truly find to be a good fit in The Pig & Quill kitchen, and any opinions expressed across the site, be they negative or positive, are 100% my own.
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