The following appeared on 6/3/09 at Exit 51.
I love the idea of leading a simple life. I just wish I could figure out how to go about doing that. If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them. Sure, there is an entire industry of lifestyle guides and magazines that want you to think that if you buy their products then your life can be as perfect as their glossy magazine photos. Call me a cynic, but I don’t buy into that. I don’t see how stimulating the economy by buying their stuff is going to change my life. In a recent moment of ‘what the heck was I thinking’ I grabbed one of those magazines while I was in line at the grocery store. The only thing I saved was a recipe.
The one area where I do find ways to simplify is cooking. Because until I learn the secrets to lead the simple life, cooking is the one thing that must be flexible, to fit into my schedule instead of making my schedule accommodate it. Occasionally, let’s call it rarely, I will go all out on a dish that requires constant tending and fussing. But I don’t really enjoy that. It’s no fun for me to stand at the stove counting minutes. I’d rather set it, and forget it.
So it should be no surprise that I tend to gravitate towards recipes that don’t chain me to the stove. Especially when the temperatures soar into the 90’s and our entire house turns into an oven, like it did recently. Despite the ungodly heat, I fired up the oven to 400 degrees for a real simple dinner. And then I promptly stationed myself on the sofa where I could pretend that the hot air coming from the fan was in fact a delightful spring breeze. What can I say, sometimes the simple life ain’t so simple.
What is pretty simple, though, is this recipe for Maple Roasted Chicken. Instead of cut up chicken parts, I used thighs only. And even though I removed the skin from half of them, there was still a lot of accumulated juices. Next time, I will make sure all my chicken is naked because all that juice made the sweet potatoes too mushy. But I bet when we go to eat the leftovers, the defatted juices will make a lovely jus. How simple is that?
Real Simple Maple Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes
From Real Simple Magazine
- 2 small sweet potatoes, cut into 1 inch chunks
- 1 onion, cut into 1 inch wedges
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 1/2 to 4 pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place sweet potatoes, thyme, and onion in a 9×13 baking dish. Coat with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Pat chicken pieces dry, season with salt and pepper, and place in the baking dish.
Drizzle the maple syrup over chicken and vegetables.
Roast 55 to 65 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.