Here's a seasonal dinner from Ellie Krieger's Food You Crave . It's Tuscan Roasted Chicken with Veggies, an all-in-one dish that you can put together easily and just stick in the oven. You can even play with your kids outside if you can hear the oven timer. Reading over the recipe, a few things concerned me, but since I had everything I just figured I'd go with it and adjust as I went along. More on that later.
This chicken is cooked on the bone but with the skin off. Good - because I end up just pulling the skin off before I eat it anyway, and because she instructs you to roast this at 375 - which will just give you flabby unappetizing skin anyway. On-the-bone gives you juicier chicken, so that appealed to me. You make a nice rub of garlic and lemon and put that all over the chicken. The chicken is placed on top of chunks of zucchini, tomatoes, and fennel (and I added some squares of red bell pepper too) that have been seasoned and tossed in olive oil. And into the oven it goes for 30 minutes. Then you add some herbs (rosemary, I added some thyme) and let it go for another 30 or so.
All good in theory. But the chicken and vegetables weren't really roasting. They were baking and there was no browning occurring at all. So I ended up turning the oven up to 400. If I wasn't out in the yard, I might have put it up to 425 and watched it closely. But at 400, the chicken got a little golden, as gold you could expect skinless chicken to get, I suppose. And the vegetables started to get some appetizing color too. In the end, it all tasted pretty good. The zucchini didn't get too mushy, as I feared it might. The tomatoes, fennel and peppers cooked down and softened. The juices from the veggies and the chicken co-mingled to make a delicious jus to spoon over everything. BTW, the fennel really benefited from cooking with the chicken. Fennel is great raw and sliced thin in a salad. But it's also amazing slow roasted in broth, cream or chicken juices. It mellows out and is just so savory and interesting. It made this dish notable.
I will probably make this again. (I might add some onion into the veg mix next time.) It is just one of those no-brainer, no-sweat, healthy meals that everyone needs in their repetoir.