Maybe not the quickest to cook, but prep/hands-on time takes no more than 5-10 minutes. More importantly, you’re not running all over the kitchen breaking a sweat chopping, measuring, or sauteing, which is key if your budget is like mine and requires you to cook three times a day nearly seven days a week.
Twenty one times a week I’m in the kitchen cooking for children who are kind enough to offer constructive criticism after every meal.
On second thought, let’s not dwell too much on the depravity of it all. I might do something rash, like cash in a bond, buy 1/16th of a tank of gas, and drive off into the sunset. Or Vons, which is where I was shopping with the boys on Monday when I decided there wasn’t much I wanted to do less in this world than cook dinner. Since take-out was not an option, I grabbed the ingredients for an ol’ lazy standby and made sure to pick side dishes The Brothers Zagat find least offensive.
Enter, roasted chicken thighs and onions.
There is no recipe. I set the oven to 375°. While the oven preheats, I go about rinsing the chicken, a practice I believe to be the biggest farce in all the land. Exactly how does a quick rinse of tap water effectively remove bacteria? Explain it to me and then explain why we don’t use the same practice in operating rooms. I’m researching my “options” on this matter and will return with a full report.
Thrilling, I know. Almost as thrilling as this non-recipe.
I toss all the thighs in a 13×9 dish. I halve and then quarter an onion and have it make friends with the chicken. Then I drizzle everything with olive oil, sprinkle salt and pepper, and roast it in the oven until it’s done, which I can tell by smell and sound but usually runs 45 minutes or so. If you like your chicken skin crispier, you can blast it with heat or raise the temperature to 400°-425° and shorten the roasting time, which I sometimes do if I am not cooking onions with the chicken. High temperatures and onions don’t usually get along (the sugar in the onion burns quickly) so in this case I kept the temperature moderate.
Then I microwave green beans in those handy, oh so over-priced, self-steaming bags. Try as I might, I doubt I will ever go back to trimming and steaming green beans. The speed and easy clean up sing a siren song to loud to ignore.
I also make a spinach salad.
Green beans and spinach. I can serve these two vegetables every night of the week and hear no complaints from the peanut gallery. The green beans I toss in butter (or olive oil) and seasonings. But! Might I suggest also adding a tablespoon or so of the pan drippings to the party? Sublime.
I do the same thing for the spinach salad, which I didn’t photograph because it is nothing more than a pile of raw spinach (not even a tomato!) tossed in homemade dressing that I make in the salad bowl before adding the spinach. EASY. A tablespoon of oil, some pan drippings (1 TB?), a little Dijon mustard, good vinegar, salt/pepper/seasonings. Mix, mix, mix. Throw the spinach in the bowl on top of your dressing and toss, toss, toss. Done.
And, for once, everyone ate without complaint. Well, maybe not Nicholas. He decided on Monday that he didn’t really like chicken anymore because “it’s too yucky.” He ate, maybe, four bites of chicken.
p.s. The leftovers are great chopped up in a dinner salad.