I just arrived home from a trip to Michigan to spend time with Meat-and-Potatoes-Guy’s side of the family and discovered something completely unexpected:
Michigan is an ideal destination around the holidays.
There are holiday shows at the Fox Theatre in Detroit, which is a gorgeous theater (originally a movie theater built in the “Roaring 20′s”).
It’s been restored with gold leaf and deep red “marble” columns, velvet seats, and hand-painted stenciled ceilings. It’s huge, ornate, and beautifully decorated for the holidays.
An hour outside the city is Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, the “word’s largest christmas store,” an unapologetically gaudy store filled with room after room of every Christmas ornament and decoration you can imagine. It’s crowded to overflowing with families and impossible to resist buying at least one new ornament for the tree (or ten, in my case).
And downtown is a charming shopping district, complete with a covered bridge (the day we were there even brought a picturesque light dusting of snow)…
…and a colorful, quaint Bavarian town filled with homemade fudge shops, German restaurants, and unique family owned stores.
I made this roast chicken with root vegetables when I returned (when I had tons of laundry to do and email to catch up on) because it’s simple, easy to throw together, and ideal for multi-tasking (the oven does most of the work so you can spend time on other things).
Here are the key the ingredients you’ll need. You’ll also need an onion, which I happened to be out of on this particular day.
Begin by smashing a few garlic cloves to remove the skin…
…and then mince up the garlic.
Grab a bowl and add some olive oil, some Dijon mustard, the minced garlic, and some Herbes de Provence.
Then whisk until everything is well combined.
I love using Herbes de Provence to flavor chicken and vegetables. It’s a mixture of dried herbs like rosemary, thyme, and fennel seed, so it’s an all-natural, healthy way to add tons of delicious flavor to a dish without adding calories.
Set aside the Dijon-herb mixture for now.
Cut the root end off an onion, cut it in half lengthwise, and remove the outer skin.
Then chop up the onion.
There’s no need to take the time to carefully dice any of the vegetables in this dish.
Big, roughly chopped pieces are ideal for roasting the veggies later.
Cut the ends off a few carrots and roughly chop them.
No need to take the time to peel the carrots if you don’t want to – you’re not likely to taste the difference between peeled and unpeeled after roasting. Just be sure to rinse them well and try to buy organic if you can.
Do the same for a few parsnips.
If you haven’t cooked with parsnips, I highly recommend them.
They look like white carrots.
And they taste a bit like carrots, except they’re deliciously sweet.
They’re also nutrition-packed (lots of fiber, folate, antioxidants, minerals, and Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and Vitamin E).
Cut a few red potatoes in half lengthwise and then quarter each half.
Grab some skinless, boneless chicken breasts and cut each into three equally sized portions (to help them cook faster).
Measure out about 2 tablespoons of the Dijon-herb mixture and use a small spatula to spread a thin layer of the mixture over each piece of chicken.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper and set aside.
Next, place all the chopped root vegetables in a large casserole dish.
Spoon the remaining Dijon-herb mixture all over the veggies.
Season well with salt and pepper.
Stir until all the veggies are well coated with the Dijon-herb mixture.
Then place the roasting dish in the oven and allow the veggies to cook for about 20 minutes.
You’re now free for long enough to catch up on Pinterest or wrap a gift or two.
When the veggies are just tender when pierced with a fork, remove them from the oven.
Stir to make sure nothing is sticking to the pan, and then nestle the chicken pieces over the veggies.
Place the dish back in the oven.
Clean the countertops and wash the knife and cutting board and (huge bonus!) you’re finished with kitchen clean-up before the meal has even been served.
When the Dijon-herb sauce begins to lightly brown, the chicken should be cooked through.
This simple dish is a unique, flavorful, gourmet-tasting twist on classic Roast Chicken and Vegetables.
The Dijon and olive oil help keep the chicken moist.
And the delicious combo of herb-seasoned root vegetables are a tasty complement to the roasted chicken.
It’s an easy recipe that should please a crowd.
Here is the complete recipe: