Easy roast chicken with Provençal potatoes
Food'Go-to' recipe for weekdays or Shabbat

Easy roast chicken with Provençal potatoes

Cooking the chicken and potatoes simultaneously is a time-saver

Easy roast chicken with Provençal potatoes (Photo by Jessica Grann)
Easy roast chicken with Provençal potatoes (Photo by Jessica Grann)

This is a great duo for a home-cooked, after-work dinner, or a simple Shabbat dinner when the days are getting shorter. So many of us are working full time, and I appreciate foods that I can cook together in the oven, at the same temperature and for the same length of time.

This chicken recipe is my go-to weekday recipe because it takes very little effort and my family and guests always are happy with the results. It pairs nicely with steamed rice, green beans or your choice of side dish.

The potato recipe elevates the meal with lots of flavor but is really very simple to cook. I make a larger batch simply because they reheat well for leftovers, which is always a plus.

If you are cooking for a small crowd, halve the recipe below. I cook a full recipe with eight pieces of chicken. Prep time for both dishes is about 15 minutes combined.

Since I prepare and cook the chicken and potatoes simultaneously, I have combined the instructions.

You and your family will really enjoy this meal, whether you choose to cook it during the week or for Shabbat. This meal also has the benefit of easy cleanup because you only use one pot and one baking pan.

For the chicken:

4-8 pieces of chicken on the bone. I use quarters, or a mix of thighs and legs. I find that chicken breasts get very dry when roasted while dark meat retains its juiciness.
A sprinkle of coarse kosher salt, which is always my preference when cooking. I even bake with it.

For the potatoes:
3 pounds small yellow potatoes, rinsed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large sweet onion, roughly chopped
2 cups sweet bell peppers. I had mixed mini peppers on hand, so I used a combination of yellow, orange and red peppers to brighten up the dish.
1 cup tomato, seeded and roughly chopped
5 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
6 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
½ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper

Preheat your oven to 425 F. Place one rack in the upper third for the chicken and the second rack below it for the potatoes. I prefer to use a metal baking sheet for the chicken and an enameled pot for the potatoes, so I need more space between the two racks. I choose the enameled pot because I can start the vegetables on the stovetop and transfer them right into the oven without creating an extra pot to clean. If you don’t have one, just use a sauté pan to start the vegetables, and transfer to a Pyrex or casserole dish for baking.

Place your chicken pieces on the baking sheet, and sprinkle lightly with salt.

Place into the oven on the top shelf.

Chop the onion. Heat the olive oil in the enameled pot over medium heat and add the onion.
Sauté for 5 minutes.

Chop the peppers, tomato and garlic, and add to the onions. Continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Brightly colored chopped vegetables enhance the visual appeal of the dish. (Photo by Jessica Grann)

Turn off the flame, stir in the potatoes and fresh herbs, then sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Place the pot into the oven, on the lower rack, and cook with the chicken for 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 400 F and cook an additional 35-40 minutes.

Chicken needs to hit an internal temperature of 165 F for food safety. I find it tastes best and gets a nice, brown roasted skin when it cooks for about an hour and the internal temperature is around 185 F. If you’re anxious about the safety of cooking chicken, you can purchase an affordable instant-read digital thermometer.

Remove the chicken from the oven and give the potatoes a stir. If a fork inserts easily into a potato, you can remove the pan from the oven. If the potato feels a bit too firm, continue cooking them for an additional 5-10 minutes.

Add salt and pepper to your taste. These recipes pair well with a simple garden salad, or steamed green beans. Enjoy! PJC

Jessica Grann is a home chef living in Pittsburgh.

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