Are you looking for a recipe for dinner that is both delicious and EASY, EASY, EASY? Then I have a couple of recipes that when paired together, would be just the ticket! Perfect for a weeknight supper when you want something that’s homemade and that uses produce that’s in season, but also requires very little effort. These recipes are appropriate for a beginning cook, or for someone who wants to expand his/her repertoire. I call them Desperation Dinners!
Sometimes, the recipe we use the most is one we acquire not from a famous, world-class, award winning chef, but something shared with us by a good friend. The first recipe, the Maple Dijon Rosemary Chicken was sent to me via email by a dear friend who is a very good cook, who told me, “You should try this!”. Turns out, as is often the case, she was right! Each of the ingredients in the dish packs a powerful flavor punch, so that’s why you need so few ingredients!
Broccoli is a cool weather vegetable, so spring is a great time to serve it. This roasted broccoli recipe is something I’ve been doing for years, and it’s my favorite way to prepare broccoli. Roasting helps the vegetable caramelize, which brings out the natural sweetness. Garlic adds another lovely flavor note, and the breadcrumbs bring a nice crunchy texture.
To round out the meal, I made a simple basmati rice, and drizzled it with the delicious sauce from the chicken. But you could use any other type of rice or couscous you prefer. Just don’t let that delicious sauce go to waste! I have tried this recipe with both chicken breasts, and chicken thighs, and my family all agree we preferred it over the chicken thighs – even though in general, I tend to prefer white meat. But it worked either way, so use whatever you prefer.
Recipe Tip: When you take the chicken out of the oven, crank the oven up to 425º, and you’ll have time to quickly roast the broccoli, while the chicken rests. See? Easy-peasy!!! Or, easy broccoleasy! 🙂
The fine folks at my local wine store listened as I described the recipe that I was going to prepare, and recommended that I pair my dishes with Hopler’s Gruner Vetliner . It was a lovely white wine that I’d never tried before, and it paired very well with this dish.
- 2 lbs. chicken thighs or breasts (8 chicken thighs)
- 1/2 c. Dijon mustard
- 1/4 c. maple syrup
- 1 T. rice wine vinegar
- 1 T. chopped fresh rosemary
- Season the chicken with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Combine the mustard, maple syrup, and rice wine vinegar, and pour over the chicken, being sure to coat both sides of the chicken. Bake at 350º for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour. Chicken needs to reach a temperature of 165º. Allow chicken to rest 10 minutes, spoon sauce over top, and then sprinkle with fresh rosemary. Serve with rice, and pour sauce over rice, as well.
- 1 lb. of broccoli, rinsed and trimmed
- 2 T. olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 t. kosher salt
- grinding of fresh pepper
- 1/3 c. panko bread crumbs (or homemade bread crumbs)
- 1/4 c. finely grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 425º. To prepare the broccoli, peel the broccoli of the tough outside stem. Then cut the stalk into slices 1/4″ thick. Trim the florets into bite sized pieces. Toss the broccoli with the olive oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl.
- Spread the bread crumbs on a 13″ jelly roll pan, and toast for about one minute. Remove the bread crumbs from the oven, and toss with the broccoli mixture. Spread the whole mixture onto the jelly roll sheet, and roast just until the broccoli is tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, and top with grated Parmesan, if you like.