I normally don’t follow recipes when I cook. As long as I understand the general process and what the end result is supposed to be, a dish comes together organically. I call it a “no recipe” technique. I wanted to share this oven-roasted chicken with vegetables because it is a great example of the technique. It is as easy as quickly chopping some vegetables, adding some chicken on top, seasoning with your favorite spices, and baking for about an hour.
You can apply this method to a lot of types of protein and veggie combinations. Just keep in mind that the cooking time of all the ingredients needs to be approximately the same: here I used sweet potatoes and onions which require a long time in the oven, they were done at the same time as the chicken breast (I used large bone-in chicken breast. Boneless chicken breast requires about 30 minute baking time)).
What I used:
Feel free to substitute your favorite seasoning and any veggie you have on hand. Carrots and regular potatoes or winter squash will be great.
3 bone-in skin-on chicken breasts (chicken legs can be substituted)
2 large sweet potatoes, cut in 1-inch chunks
1 large onion, cut in large chunks
2 large bell peppers, cut in large chunks
2 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped fine
1 tsp dry thyme
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp lemon pepper seasoning
1/2 tsp paprika
1 Tbs neutral cooking oil, I use canola
How to make it:
The dish requires minimal hands-on time but takes about an hour in the oven, so plan accordingly.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
In a large baking dish, combine the chopped vegetables with a half of the herbs and seasoning. Drizzle with a little oil and mix well.
Lay the chicken breast over the top of the vegetables, drizzle the remaining oil over the chicken and season with the rest of the herbs and seasoning. Don’t be afraid to rub the seasoning all over the chicken, you can always wash your hands afterward.
Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 4o minutes, take the foil off and bake for another 20 minutes. Check for doneness at this point, using a meat thermometer. The chicken should be cooked to 160 degrees, and the vegetable should be soft when pierced with a fork.
A make-ahead tip: on a separate baking sheet place a few extra chicken breasts/legs and season the same way as you have seasoned your chicken with the vegetables. Do not cover with foil. Bake alongside the chicken-veggies dish. Check after 40 minutes (when you take the foil off the baking dish), it should be ready by now, or bake for addional 5-10 minutes. This is a great way to make extra chicken breast that can be used later in the week, or even frozen.
What are your favorite “no-recipe” meals? Please share in the comments.