Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Baked Chicken and Roasted Eggplant, Butternut Squash, and Grape Tomatoes

baked chicken with roasted eggplants, butternut squash, and grape tomatoes

AHHHHH this is so good. I mean, baked chicken and creamed vegetable soup is good. But I feel like this looks nicer, and also poached eggs in veg puree is coming up for winter breakfast and veg puree is almost the same as creamed veg soup. Annnd this is so good.

Lately I have been getting four chicken thighs to a package, which makes four lunches. More chicken would fit on my baking sheet, but then I'd have to do two sheets of vegetables?

chicken thighs
salt
pepper
a large eggplant
a butternut squash
a container of grape tomatoes

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Debone the chicken thighs using a very sharp, small knife, I use my four-inch paring knife that I steel before using. Which you're always supposed to do before you use a knife and I might start doing, it makes the edge so much sharper. Then all you do is run the knife next to the bone, just follow the bone, really more like you're drawing where the bone is and not at all like you're trying to hack through. You can save the bones for stock, if you want. I throw them into a ziploc bag that I keep in the freezer and when the bag is full, will make stock.

Sprinkle the cut side of the meat with a little salt and pepper. I suppose if I were a fancy person, here's where I could spread some pesto or cheese. But, I'm not that fancy.

Arrange the pieces on the baking sheet, tucking the skin under the meat. Don't bother with aluminum foil. Also don't bother trimming the skin or if you do, scatter the extra pieces of skin on the baking sheet.

Bake for 30 minutes, turning the sheet around halfway through if your oven is uneven.

While the chicken is baking, cut the eggplant and squash into largish pieces. Peel the squash, obviously. I want to try this with delicata squash because no peeling there.

Okay.

Take the chicken pieces out of the pan and set them aside, and see there's a lot of fat left in the pan.

Which I'm going to roast the vegetables in, so turn the oven up to 500 degrees. Arrange the vegetables on the baking sheet, hopefully it all fits! Especially make sure to swipe the eggplant, both sides, through the chicken fat. If your chicken didn't render enough fat, you can make it up with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast for 30 minutes, again turning the sheet around halfway through if your oven is uneven.

I filled four jars with vegetables and four jars with a chicken thigh apiece, that's three work lunches plus one. Normally I would eat one serving right away, but I spoiled my appetite snacking on roasted eggplant right off the pan.

Other things I'm thinking that could be roasted: root vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, mushrooms.

At work I slice the chicken thigh crosswise and put the slices in a bowl, empty the jar of vegetables next to the chicken, and reheat in the microwave. Or you could slice the chicken before it goes in the jars, then everything's presliced and ready to eat.

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