A week ago this Sunday night, Jack and I were touching down in Chicago after a family visit to Cleveland. Already travel-weary, we arrived home to what Jeremy and Jossie had been dealing with for 24 hours - a gas leak in our yard. The heat was off in our house and there were gas levels registering in our basement. I ran through our cold house (42 degrees) to grab a few things for all of us for the next morning, and then we retreated to a kind friend's house. The local gas company's trucks were idling outside, their orange lights constantly flashing in the icy-cold winter's night.
Everything is fine now, but we had a brief vision of what it's like to feel unsafe in your home. Not awesome. Three-year-old Jossie keeps telling us she's so glad we're all home and I agree.
I've spent this weekend pulling the house back together and found a home-hearty meal for Sunday night that is not time-intensive but provides some great aromas from the kitchen. And you roast the chicken atop the vegetables, which makes the vegetables so tender and delicious. It also calls for only 1/3 cup of dry white wine, so there's plenty left over for dinner (a big plus in my kitchen). Serve with a nice green salad and some hearty bread:
Roasted chicken breasts with sweet potatoes
From the super-awesome cookbook: Keepers: Two Home Cooks Share Their Tried-and-True Weeknight Recipes and the Secrets to Happiness in the Kitchen
4 sweet potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds total), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
grated zest and juice of 1 large lemon
4 chicken breast halves (about 3 pounds total), patted dry
1/4 cup dry white wine
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees, with a rack in the middle position. Put sweet potatoes in a large roasting pan, sprinkle on the the 2 tablespoons of olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss until well combined. Spread the potatoes out in a single layer and set aside. (Note: Instead of 4 sweet potatoes, I used an assortment of 1 garnet yam, 2 russet potatoes and 3 carrots - the yummiest parts were the yam and carrots.)
In a small bowl, stir together the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, rosemary, lemon zest and juice, and season with salt. Gently loosen the skin from the chicken breasts and rub the mixture between the skin and meat. Season the chicken with a little more salt and pepper, then put skin-side up in the pan on top of potatoes and roast for 20 minutes.
Gently toss the potatoes, sliding the ones under the chicken out and vice versa. Pour the wine over the chicken and continue to roast until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes more.
Transfer the chicken to a plate, tent with foil to keep warm, and let rest for 5 to 10 more minutes. If the potatoes aren't tender yet, return to the oven. When they are soft, toss them again, scraping up caramelized bits o nthe bottom of the pan. Serve the chicken with the potatoes.