Back-to-back Martha nights. Flipping through (one of her many) cookbooks this past weekend, I was drawn to a recipe so simple, so straightforward, I was surprised Martha bothered to devote two whole pages (granted, one is a full-blown, gorgeous picture) to it. Could making tasty chicken be as simple as sticking it in the oven? Martha: challenge accepted.
Super Simple Garlic-roasted Chicken Breasts
- olive oil
- 4 heads garlic
- fresh rosemary (or oregano, or thyme, or whatever fresh herb you have)
- 2 chicken breasts, rinsed and patted dry (I used skinless and boneless; this would probably be way better with both skin and bone intact)
- salt & pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice the tops off from the garlic heads and reserve them. Arrange the tops, cut sides down, in the center of a baking dish. Lay the herbs over the garlic, place the chicken over the herbs, and put another sprig of herbs over the chicken.
- Arrange the reserved bottoms next to the chicken in the pan. Drizzle the chicken and the garlic with olive oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
- Roast the chicken for 25 minutes or so, or until cooked through. If you’re using skin-on breasts, continue roasting until the skin is browned and juices start to run clear – you’ll want to save the juice to drizzle over the top at the end.
Sauteed Broccolini with Lemon and Pine Nuts
- 1 bunch broccolini (or broccoli, or broccoli rabe), ends trimmed
- handful pine nuts
- olive oil
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- crushed red pepper
- salt & pepper
- optional: parmesan cheese
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; cook the broccolini for about a minute, or until bright green. Drain.
- Heat a medium saute pan over low-medium heat and toast the pine nuts until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove from the pan.
- Add olive oil and heat through. Add the broccolini; toss with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper. Cook about 3-5 minutes, until heated through but still crunchy.
- Toss the broccolini with pine nuts, lemon juice and parmesan cheese, if you so choose.
- Serve the chicken and broccolini with crusty bread – I drizzled a loaf with olive oil and rubbed the extra roasted garlic and heated it through.
As an answer to the challenge, Martha, this was tasty, but I think you (and I) can do better. Given I used skinless, boneless breasts, this would have been better with a sauce. I thought about making one with white wine, the lemon juice and a little bit of butter, but somehow execution escaped me. Luckily, both the Husband and I actually like chicken breast on the drier side (proof that there’s someone out there for everyone!). I also feel the garlic went a bit wasted (just stuck there in the little garlic head packets?)- good thing roasted garlic is delicious on its own. Unfortunately, the Husband likes that a little less than I do…