Monday, September 24, 2012

Rosemary Orange Oven-Roasted Chicken

 As the days become shorter and the air crisper, I am reminded of the extra little things I do to help warm the house.  I burn a candle, I cook beans in my crock-pot, I bake.
Today, I did all three.
Wafting from the oven, the aroma of roasting chicken and rosemary was punctuated by zesty orange peel.  The fragrance created a kitchen ambiance that was both vibrantly bright and comfortingly cozy.  Potatoes and carrots roasted alongside the chicken, enveloped in the pungent herb flavor.  Our house was warmed, and we enjoyed a wonderfully simple meal that delighted even the littlest Pickle's palate.

Rosemary Orange Oven-Roasted Chicken
6 bone-in chicken thighs (I also threw in a couple wings)
2 lbs. white potatoes, cut in 1 1/2" cubes
5 carrots, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped
Olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
6 5" sprigs of fresh rosemary, cut in half
Zest of 1 orange (2 Tbsp)**
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a 10x15" jelly roll pan with aluminum foil.  Pour 2 Tbsp. olive oil onto foil.  Coat chicken pieces with oil (use more if necessary) and arrange on tray skin side down.
2.  Bake chicken, skin side down, for 15 minutes.
3.  In a large bowl, combine potatoes, carrots, onion, and rosemary.  Drizzle with 2 Tbsp. Olive oil.  Sprinkle salt and pepper over.  Toss to coat vegetables evenly.
4.  When chicken has baked for 15 minutes, remove from oven, turn chicken skin side up.  Arrange vegetables and rosemary around chicken.  Bake for 20 minutes.
5.  After baking for 20 minutes, remove from oven and sprinkle orange zest over chicken and vegetables and bake for 30 minutes more, or until meat thermometer inserted into chicken reads 180 degrees F and vegetables are tender.  (My carrots were soft yet firm, which is how we like them.  If you prefer them even more tender, add vegetables in Step 1.)
6.  Remove from oven and allow to set for 10 minutes before serving.

**We loved the element of flavorful surprise brought by the orange, but I am thinking that lemon zest would taste lovely as well...

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