Easy Weekend Dinner





I had my first cooking lesson on November 1st 1980, when I was seven years old. My mother was at the hospital, after giving birth the day before to my brother Yair. Being the oldest of the four children left at home, I felt responsible to let my father know that we were hungry.  I knew that my father was a cook, so as we entered the kitchen I expected him to put on a white chef hat, open a recipe book and start measuring ingredients. To my surprise, my father had a completely unofficial approach to cooking. “Let’s see what we have here.” he said as he opened the fridge and kitchen cupboards, and started taking out vegetables and spices. That afternoon I learned how to make baked potatoes using our imagination and whatever we had in the kitchen.

my dad, Shlomo
In this post I would like to demonstrate how easy it is to make a whole meal that is natural, healthy and tasty, using ingredients that we usually keep in the kitchen, or find them at every local grocery store.

Cooking time of this meal is 4 hours.  The initial preparation time is minimal and you can actually leave the house and go see a movie during this time, knowing that dinner will be ready when you are back.

Baked Chicken and Potatoes with Steamed Broccolini 

Preheat the oven to 250F/120C
Cooking dishes are: 9X13-baking pan and a 2 quart cooking pot.

Ingredients:

1 whole chicken
1 lb small potatoes (any kind you’d like)
2-3 bunches broccolini or 1 bag broccoli flowers
Salt and pepper

Optional spices:
1 tbsp garlic powder, 1 tbsp dry herb (Italian seasoning/dry dill/zaatar)

Place chicken in the middle of the pan. Arrange the small potatoes around the chicken. Sprinkle salt, pepper and optional spices over chicken and potatoes. You can rub the spices under the skin or you can choose not to touch it. There is no need for oil, since the chicken skin contains a lot of fat.


 Put in the oven for 4 hours.

15 minutes before dinnertime put the broccolini in a cooking pot with 1 inch of water. Cook on a medium high heat with the lid closed for about 10 minutes, or until a fork can stab the stems easily. The broccolini should still have a bright green color. Before serving drizzle olive oil and sprinkle some salt - to taste.



If you wish to have a crispy chicken skin, 5 minutes before dinner is served, change the oven setting to broil. My advice is that you stay in the kitchen and watch over it. The photo below shows the burnt chicken skin that happened when I left the kitchen to answer some emails.  Despite that the chicken was still moist. 


 Use the juice at the bottom of the pan as a sauce for the potatoes.




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