Thursday, January 6, 2011

Roasted Chicken for the Soul

It's been a long night. Actually no, it's been a long month, a long winter in fact. But tonight has just been especially long. I talked for 30 minutes with a guy I realized in the first 5 I had absolutely no chemistry with, but was too polite to get off the phone. And all I kept thinking of was the Seinfeld episode where George and Jerry make up a fake Chinese delivery so they can get off the phone with people. And then I'd feel like a terrible person for even thinking that.They say life hands you lemons and expects you to make lemonade. But I think also lemons are sometimes too easy and life may hand you other completely random things and expect you to make something just as genius, just as refreshing and delicious as lemonade. Right now that's where I am... figuring out what in the world to do with these various random things. I feel I can make something wonderful with what I've been given, actually know what the end result I want is... just can't figure out for the life of me how to get from having these things in my possession to the final product. Bear with my rant, I promise a delicious recipe at the end of it.

So I make roasted chicken instead. My favorite roasted chicken, covered in za'atar, slathered in mustard and topped with panko. Happily roasting away, the panko and mustard forming a satisfying crunchy outer layer and possibly with some shredded brussel sprouts hanging out to the side, soaking in the juices of the chicken and the mustard. It's my favorite weeknight meal. Simple, healthy, comforting, soothing. It may not be soup but it definitely warms the soul.
Mustard Roasted Chicken Legs
Adapted from Madeleine Kamman's recipe
1 chicken leg per person- optional to remove the skin
1 Tbl. mustard per leg
1 tsp. za'atar per leg- can use fresh or dried herbs too (rosemary, thyme, oregano, marjoram all work well)
1 1/2 tsp panko per leg
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Pat legs dry and sprinkle on salt and pepper on both sides. Leave chicken skin side up if cooking with skin on. Sprinkle on herb mixture of choice. Top with mustard and spread until it evenly covers the top part of the leg. Top evenly with panko.
3. I shred brussel sprouts and lay to the side, sprinkling with olive oil and a pinch of salt, but you can use any leafy green, such as collards, kale or chard. This step is optional depending on your preference.
4. Roast for 1 hour until the chicken is tender and the coating is crisp.

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