Thursday, July 22, 2010

Veggies You Can Bake With Chicken

We make chicken a lot. Probably 2-3 meals per week minimum. While frying or simmering it in a pan is delicious, I find it also labor-intensive, which isn't ideal when it's the witching hour and my 3-year-old and 7-month-old are vying for my attention. That's why my chicken is almost always roasted or baked.

Not being one to waste oven energy (it does, after all, cost about $0.50/hour to run your oven), I almost always throw a veggie in with or next to the chicken. If it's with the chicken, I get the added bonus of the chicken's sauce also flavoring the veggies. After baking, all I usually do is add a salad and the meal is complete.

Fresh pieces of chicken cooks in about 45 minutes at 400 degrees. Fully frozen chicken pieces can take up to an hour and a half in the oven, depending on the cut. A whole fresh chicken will roast at 350 for a couple of hours, give or take. Here are some primal veggies that you can throw in with your chicken to kill (har) two birds with one stone.

Making fresh chicken - oven to be on 45-60 minutes:
  • Brussels sprouts (make sure to marinate or drizzle very well so that leaves don't completely wither while crisping)
  • Carrots/baby carrots
  • Chunks of sweet potato, cubed about 1/2" around (add cinnamon!)
  • Cauliflower, drizzled with coconut oil and garam masala (or just curry)
  • Asparagus (for the last 15-20 minutes, in a pan of its own)
  • Plantains (add butter and cinnamon!) - just bake them a little longer since there's less heat, or take the chicken out and broil the plantains to golden brown
  • Turnips - see turnip seasoning suggestions here, I want to try it!
Making frozen chicken - oven to be on closer to 90 minutes:
  • Whole sweet potatoes, small to medium, wrapped in foil in a pan of their own
  • Squashes of all kinds (you could blend with coconut milk or cream and spices after the slow bake for a tasty side soup)
  • Beets (I haven't tried this yet, but I should give it a shot soon!)
Here's a sample meal. The sauce knocked my socks off, and I hope it does for you, too!

1-2 lbs. chicken (I used chicken thigh fillets here)
Brussels sprouts (I had about 2 cups here)
1/4 cup orange juice (or citrus juice of choice)
1/4 cup avocado oil (or oil of choice)
1/2 cup tamari (wheat-free soy sauce)

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Lay the chicken pieces and the brussels sprouts together in a large baking dish. Drizzle just enough OJ to moisten the chicken and veggies (no need to dump it in - just use your intuition and use as little as possible since this is a high-fructose proposition).

Drizzle avocado oil generously over all, and follow this with the tamari.

Bake uncovered at 400 F for about 45 minutes, turning chicken pieces and brussels sprouts once or twice during the time in the oven - this ensures that the delicious sauce gets all over your victuals.

And - of course - feel free to accessorize with a fresh salad.

1 comment:

  1. This is perfect! What a great idea to cook these veggies along side meat. For some reason I though that only onions existed when baking with meat. But this is pretty much revolutionary for me. Thanks for the recipe!


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