Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sunday Dinner

Little did I know that this dinner would be such a hit. It wasn't the best thing I ever made (though one of my critics said so!); I think there's something about the family sitting down to a home-cooked meal on a Sunday night that makes everyone happy.

The weekend, like so many others, started out with TS asking if he could have a couple of friends over on Friday afternoon, which morphed into 5 guys hanging out until mid-day Saturday. No sooner had they left than it was time to get my DD to a friend's house to rehearse for the school talent show. That left the guys and I to figure out what to do for dinner. I was outnumbered and wings at the Chicken Bone Saloon was the decision.

We finally all sat down together tonight and enjoyed this dinner of Roasted Chicken, Risotto and Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette. The roasted chicken is a tried and true recipe that I hadn't prepared in a while. The risotto came together quickly in the pressure cooker, and I made the salad in stages during the day - roasting the squash and toasting the walnuts in the morning; making the dressing and shaving the parmesan cheese while dinner was cooking. The salad was definitely the most time-consuming part of the meal, but I was dying to try the recipe (click here), ever since I saw it in the Barefoot Contessa's Back to Basics cookbook I received as a Christmas gift. A simpler option would be steamed broccoli or spinach.

Do you and your family have a Sunday Dinner you love? I'd love to hear about it. If not, try this one and see what you think.

Crispy Roasted Chicken
Serves 4 - 5

1 4- to 5-pound whole chicken -- rinsed
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 large onion -- peeled and quartered
1/4 cup white wine or chicken broth

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine all spices (salt through black pepper) together in a small bowl. It's OK if you don't have one of them, or don't care for one of them. Either leave it out or substitute something else. Rub the mixture under the breast skin, then on top and sprinkle any leftover on the legs and in the cavity.

Place the quartered onion in cavity. Tie legs if desired. Place chicken in small oven-proof dish. Pour wine (or broth) around chicken. Turn chicken BREAST SIDE DOWN and roast at 400 for 30 - 40 minutes.

Turn over, baste and continue to roast for 45 - 50 min., basting occasionally, until chicken is 165 degrees in thigh. Let rest at least 10 minutes before carving.

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