I've been intrigued by this cooking technique since I heard about it on one of the radio cooking shows, likely The Splendid Table, but I'm not sure. You roast your meat on a rack above a baking dish. The juices drip down on the vegetables below, seasoning them for you. It sounds delicious and easy. This recipe for Easy Roasted Chicken Breasts with Root Vegetables calls for split chicken breasts, which are often on sale and this week cost 97 cents a pound at the Harris Teeter. This dish costs $2.37 per serving.
This recipe comes from the editors of Cook's Illustrated: "The Best One-Dish Suppers." I'm also giving away a copy of this cookbook. You know the drill, leave a comment below this post before noon Friday, May 13th. I'll chose a winner at random. Make sure the email associated with your N&O userid is valid or you could lose out.
Easy Roasted Chicken Breasts with Root Vegetables
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup salt
4 bone-in, skin-on split chicken breasts, trimmed
1 pound red potatoes, about 3 medium
1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch lengths
1 pound carrots, about 6 medium, peeled and cut into 1-inch lengths
2 medium shallots, peeled and quartered
8 medium garlic cloves, peeled
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried
3 tablespoons olive oil
Ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Lemon wedges, for serving, optional
DISSOLVE sugar and salt in 2 quarts cold water in a large container. Submerge the chicken in brine, cover and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes.
ADJUST an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 450 degrees. Combine potatoes, parsnips, carrots and 3 tablespoons water in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover and microwave on high power, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, 10 to 15 minutes.
DRAIN vegetables well, toss with shallots, garlic, rosemary and oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread vegetables into a 13 by 9-inch baking dish and top with a wire rack (the rack may overhang the dish slightly.)
REMOVE chicken from the brine, rinse and pat dry with paper towels. Gently loosen the center portion of the skin covering each breast. Using a spoon, place softened butter underneath the skin, then gently press on the skin to spread out the butter.
LAY chicken on wire rack, brush with melted butter and season with pepper. Roast the chicken and vegetables until the chicken registers 160 to 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 30 to 35 minutes.
Yield: 4 servings
This assumes you have sugar, salt, pepper, olive oil and butter.
Chicken, 97 cents a pound, Cost for meal: $3.88 for four pounds
Red potatoes, 5-pound bag for $4.49: Cost for meal: 90 cents
Parsnips, $2.49 a pound, Cost for meal: $2.49
Carrots, $1.07 for 2-pound bag, Cost for meal: 54 cents
Shallots, 50 cents each, Cost for meal: $1
Garlic 50 cents each, Cost for meal: 35 cents
Rosemary, $1.99 for one ounce, Cost for meal: 30 cents
Cost for meal: $9.46
Cost per serving: $2.37