Here’s a recipe that’s a quickie—quick to put together and not too long to cook. The “main course” is chicken legs (although you can use breasts; see below) and the “sides” are roasted baby potatoes and mushrooms with shallots and garlic. The flavorings are simple: oil, balsamic vinegar (a brand just a step up from the most basic makes a better dish), and fresh herbs. And what comes out of the oven is seductive. It’s the perfect recipe for a during-the-week meal after a crazy-busy day, although it’s just as good on the weekends, when you’ve got more time but might want to spend it away from the kitchen. If you’ve got a crowd coming, double the recipe and use two pans.
A Word on the Chicken:
I like to use whole skin-on legs for this dish. If you prefer breasts, I’d suggest you skip cutlets and go for bone-in breasts—buy two split breasts for four people.
1 1/2 pounds
(680 grams) small potatoes, scrubbed and halved if large
(226 grams) white mushrooms, wiped clean, trimmed and cut in half if large
large shallot or medium onion, cut into 8 wedges, rinsed and patted dry
garlic cloves, unpeeled
sprigs fresh rosemary
sprigs fresh thyme
freshly ground black pepper
(90 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
whole chicken legs (thigh and drumstick), patted dry (see headnote)
In This Recipe
Center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 450 degrees F. Rub a baking sheet with a little oil (or line it with foil and oil the foil).
Put the potatoes, mushrooms, shallot or onion and garlic in a large bowl. Toss in 4 sprigs each of the rosemary and thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, a few grindings of pepper, 3 tablespoons of the oil and 3 tablespoons of the balsamic. Mix everything well and spread the ingredients out on the baking sheet.
Put the chicken in the bowl, along with the remaining 3 tablespoons oil and 2 tablespoons balsamic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a good amount of pepper, and mix well to coat the chicken. Move the vegetables around to make room for the chicken. Tuck the remaining herbs
under each piece.
Roast the chicken for 40 minutes to 1 hour, until a thermometer stuck into the thickest part of a thigh measures 165 degrees F.
Serve everything on the baking sheet or a big platter; pour over the cooking juices.
STORING: The supper is best served straight from the oven, but leftovers are good for a couple of days; cover and refrigerate. If you’ve got a few potatoes left over, cut them into cubes and toss them into a salad.
Called a “culinary guru” by the New York Times and inducted into the James Beard Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America, Dorie Greenspan is the author of 13 cookbooks, her latest is Everyday Dorie. Some of her other bestselling cookbooks include Dorie's Cookies, Baking Chez Moi, Around My French Table and Baking From My Home to Yours.