Dinner at Home
Roast chicken to warm the soul
Warm your winter-weary soul with roast chicken, veggies
The No. 1 trick to roasting chicken: Heat. For perfectly golden skin, turn on the convection setting on the oven, or fully heat the oven to 400 degrees. (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune)
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1. Dissolve 1/4 cup each salt and sugar in 2 quarts of warm water in a large bowl or pot. Add the chicken and additional cool water if necessary to completely submerge the chicken. Refrigerate covered at least 2 hours or up to overnight. Drain; rinse chicken; pat dry.
2. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Pour 3 tablespoons oil into a large roasting pan. Add leeks and fennel; mix well to coat with the oil.
3. Use your hands to gently loosen the skin away from the flesh of the chicken. Slip the lemon slices under the skin on the back and front of the chicken. Tuck the cilantro into the chicken cavity. Sprinkle the salt, oregano and pepper on all sides of the chicken. Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables in the pan.
4. Roast the chicken, stirring the vegetables around in the pan juices every 20 minutes or so, until the chicken is golden and the juices run clear when the thigh is pierced, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. An instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh should register about 165 degrees.
5. Gently transfer the chicken to a cutting board; tent with foil. Let rest, 10 minutes. Meanwhile, skim and discard most of the fat from pan juices. Transfer pan juices and vegetables to a serving bowl; season with salt, if needed.
6. Carve the chicken into serving portions. Serve each with a generous spoonful of the vegetables.
Per serving: 568 calories, 34 g fat, 8 g saturated fat, 158 mg cholesterol, 14 g carbohydrates, 51 g protein, 828 mg sodium, 4 g fiber.
Chocolate cherry peanut butter oatmeal cookies
Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 12 minutes
Makes: about 90 cookies
Note: These cookies are made without flour. For the best crunch, be sure to use old-fashioned rolled oats, not the finer-textured quick-cooking varieties. I like natural peanut butter for its deep peanut flavor. Store the cookies in a covered container up to several days or freeze up to 2 months.
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup each: granulated sugar, packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda