Awesome Simple Dinner Technique

In my last column I covered the herbs and spices I suggest you ought to have on hand in your spice drawer, spice rack or pantry. I'll follow up with a review of the pantry staples I think are most important to have.

But, like you, I've been really busy lately with two teenagers and a grade schooler, swim meets, parties and just plain life as we know it. So before I go into another list / lecture about staple foods, I'd like to share a simple, simple technique for a one-pan meal that I've used several times during the past few hectic weeks. 

The technique comes from Jamie Oliver, and the idea is that you line a roasting pan with vegetables, herbs and seasonings, toss them in oil, then place a main ingredient over the top and roast for about 40-60 minutes depending on the main ingredient. While fresh herbs are the best choice for great results, you can use dried if that's all you've got. Substitute a little less than one teaspoon for each "sprig" of fresh herbs in the recipes that follow the next posts.

Slight variations in this roasting formula have produced: 

and my own creation:
  • Chicken Stuffed with Capicolla and Mozzarella over Roasted Tomatoes and Fennel
Below you'll find a small gallery of photos of these dishes. In the next post, my recipe for the stuffed chicken. Next week, I promise, we'll discuss pantry staples. How exciting!! Well, it's exciting for me, and I hope for you too.

Chicken Legs with Crispy Pancetta
Drippings toast the homemade bread cubes on the bottom layer
to create incredible croutons

Italian Sausages with Herb Roasted Tomatoes

Chicken Stuffed with Capicolla and Mozzarella
over Herb Roasted Tomatoes and Fennel


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