Rainbow Chicken

A couple of weeks ago, the New York Times featured recipes with the "new idea" of oven-to-table suppers where we skip the step of browning the meat. Instead, the uncooked meat is combined with vegetables and then baked in the oven. New idea? No way. Good cooks have kept recipes like this in their repertoires forever. Here's my favorite -- chicken and a pile of rainbow-colored vegetables, tossed in a spice rub and brightened with lemon slices. It's so simple and spring-like. It's my new go-to chicken supper!

Rainbow Chicken


UPDATE Careful readers are noticing that there's red cabbage in the photograph but none in the ingredient list. That's because I did make Rainbow Chicken with red cabbage one night but it wasn't the favorite I thought it would be. I've used several combinations of vegetables, the ingredient list shows my favorite.


“I think it’s your detergent,” declared my sister at Christmas, pulling barely clean dishes from the dishwasher and apparently unimpressed by the bargain box I’d picked up at the dollar store along with a few stocking stuffers.

She was right, though: the dinner plates were rough with food grime, the silverware was slightly sticky, and the drinking glasses were covered with a powdery film.

I wondered if the water were hot enough, whether the fifteen-year old dishwasher (or a still-older water heater) was about to crash beneath the stress of heavy holiday use.

Turns out, the dishwasher detergent was the problem but it’s affecting brand-name and no-brand products alike. And if you’re not experiencing the problem yet, get ready, you will.

According to NPR (see Dishes Still Dirty? Blame Phosphate-Free Detergent), in 2010, detergent manufacturers quietly removed the phosphates that stripped food and oil from dirty dishes and prevented food bits from re-attaching during the wash process. The action was taken product-wide after seventeen states banned phosphates due to damage to the environment. Rather than supporting separate products for separate markets, rather than continuing the damage to the environment even while still legal in some states, detergent manufacturers switched to no-phosphate detergents across the board.

While I’m glad to know that throwing money at a plumber or new appliances won’t help, I’m still struggling with less than clean dishes, despite more careful rinsing.

Any suggestions?

UPDATE, A POTENTIAL SOLUTION? The May 11, 2011 issue of Consumer Reports says that the "Quantum tablets" from Finish do a "superb" job of cleaning dishes without leaving water spots although at a steep price: thirty cents a load. They say that another Finish product, the gel that's just twelve cents a load, doesn't work.

Any experience with these or other products?

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite chicken recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

QUICK SUPPER:
RAINBOW CHICKEN

Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Time to table: 1 - 3/4 hours
Serves 4
    SPICE RUB
  • 2 teaspoons sweet or smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-1/4 pound chicken thighs or legs, bone-in, skins off or on
  • 1 potato, skin on, diced small (turnip works too)
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled, diced small
  • 1 medium onion, cut into lengths
  • 1 bell pepper, cut into lengths
  • 1 zucchini, cut into chunks
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 lemon, sliced thin cross-wise (don’t skip)

Preheat oven to 425F.

Mix the spice rub ingredients in a large bowl.

Rinse the chicken pieces under running water, pat dry with paper towels, then drop into the Spice Rub and turn to coat. Arrange the chicken in a single layer in an oven-safe skillet or casserole dish with a lid.

Drop the vegetables into the remaining spice rub (there won’t be a lot, but it’s just enough), give it all a stir and then scatter over the chicken. Top with lemon slices.

Cover and bake for 45 minutes (and up to 20 minutes longer if using a baking dish covered with foil) or until no pink remains in the chicken pieces. Let rest for 5 minutes, serve and savor!

ALANNA’s TIPS After making Rainbow Chicken a half dozen times already in 2011, it’s become my go-to, no-thinking chicken comfort food. I’m partial to the more richly flavored dark meat so pick up packs of inexpensive thighs or legs, then slip off the skins and coat with the Spice Rub. Then I check the fridge for vegetables, chopping up whatever’s on hand. The vegetables in the ingredient list, however, became my favorites. For a whole chicken, cut the chicken into pieces but use twice the Spice Rub. Reserve the back and wings for making Homemade Chicken Stock. Consider making extra for the leftovers reheat beautifully.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per Serving (without skin/with skin): 218/244 Calories; 2/6g Tot Fat; 1/2g Sat Fat; 23mg Cholesterol; 384/381mg Sodium; 40g Carb; 8g Fiber; 10g Sugar; 11/10g Protein; Weight Watchers Old Points 4/4.5, PointsPlus 5/6
Adapted from a recipe called Peruvian-Style Chicken at Whole Foods. Lots of stars and exclamation points in the reviews for this recipe – I love it too!!!!! ☺

This Week, Years Past

Scandinavian Pea Soup French Eggs Three Easy Vegetables Hot Cross Buns Vanilla Brownies Lemon Asparagus Pasta Homemade Chicken Stock Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing Chocolate Cream Puffs Stuffed with Strawberries & Cream

This Week, Elsewhere

Gooey Butter Bread Pudding from The Basket Case Deli
My Column in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Summer Black-Eyed Pea Salad
How to Eat More Vegetables, Tip #9
A Veggie Venture


More Favorite Chicken Recipes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Easy Margarita Chicken Fast Roast Chicken Grilled Balsamic Chicken


Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)





© Copyright 2011 Kitchen Parade





Question: What is the purple in the picture? It looks like red cabbage, but I don't see that on your list of ingredients. I love your recipes and this is one that I will definitely want to try!
 
Flo ~ Oh I love how careful people read and look! :-) Yes there's red cabbage in the photo but I wasn't as fond of it as expected. I made several vegetable combinations, the ingredient list shows my favorite.
 
Thank you! I was wondering if I'd like cabbage in there. I am going to make this using the exact ingredients you posted. Your recipes never fail to please!
 
I typically don't comment as at heart I'm a die hard lurker but your dish washing dilemma spoke to me. I've struggled with the same thing and have been soooo frustrated! The best solution I've found short of washing everything by hand is adding an environmentally safe additive to each load of dishes. I found it at WalMart but have included the link to their website. It truly is a miracle product in my opinion.
 
Oh blast, forgot the link.

http://envirocontech.com/products/Learn-More-about-Lemi-Shine.html
 
To date, restaurants are still allowed to use dishwasher soap WITH phosphates. Individuals can still buy it online by the case from several distributors. I now have six boxes, enough to last me for a LONG time. I continue to use the non-phosphate products when I have less-soiled dished or to use with my fine china.
 
Thank you for your websites. I use your recipes often, and have turned my children into vegetable-tolerators! (It would be a stretch to say my 8-year-old loves or likes veggies, but he eats them now…every day!!)

The Rainbow Chicken looks delicious. I will definitely make it this weekend. Question: The photo looks like there is purple cabbage in it. Is there? And how much?

Thank you, again, for your labor of love.
 
Alanna - about the dishes... we have a new-ish (2006) dishwasher and use its Sanitize and HiTemp Wash selections (I won't mention the brand because I would never recommend it, for repair reasons), so I know the water is very hot. I use 7th Generation Auto DW Detergent (powder) which has never had phosphates, and the dishes are always squeeky clean, despite very hard water, so I do recommend that. And we never pre-rinse and I always load to the max. 7th Generation may look more expensive, but I don't need to use as much as I used to use (of the stuff in the shiny green box), and besides I prefer to try to pay my own way rather than leaving a mess for future generations.
 
Alexis ~ You've WARMED my heart today, thank you! There IS red cabbage in the photo but NOT in the ingredient list, since it turned out not to be a favorite. I've modified the recipe so that others know too! Thanks so much for taking the time to write!
 
I'm a bit shocked that you cast the removal of phosphates from dish detergent in a negative light! They are TERRIBLE for the environment, causing overgrowth of algae in our waters and killing off critters. This may be the first instance I've ever heard of that companies did the responsible thing, instead of something that would make them more money. I've never used anything but phosphate-free detergent since I first started enjoying the luxury of a dishwasher, and I've never had a problem; but I do rinse my dishes if I'm not going to be running the dishwasher within a few hours, and for things like egg and pizza dough, I do a light pre-scrub with a dobie pad. Having washed dishes by hand for about 10 years, it still seems like hardly any work at all...
 
Erika ~ Oh dear, I sure didn't intend the impression that it's a bad thing to remove phosphates -- just that now that they're gone, I'd just like to know how to get my dishes clean, in this new (ahem) environment.

Which phosphate-free detergent do you use? I rinse, too, even when the dishwasher is going to be run right away, maybe yours would work here too.

Thanks for chiming in!
 
As to the dishwasher dilemma...we had the same problem, and by golly it WAS the dishwasher...and we had a fancy-smancy dish drawer set up that, at first, was the answer to my prayers. 8 years and 1 brand spanking new dishwasher later, our dishes come out spotless and shiny! I just continue to use the detergent that was recommended by my manufacturer...don't even know the name off the top of my head, but it comes in tablets with a small red ball of something in each one.

Oh, your recipe sounds good, too...in fact, I needed something for dinner tonight, and I think that will be it!! Thanks!
 
Interesting info about the phosphates..so far I have not noticed anything but have to admit the dishes are prety much washed prior to going into the dishwasher.

I'm a huge fan of flavorful chicken dishes that celebrate both chicken and veggies...so I'm delighted to find your recipe and I'm going to try it this weekend!

You have a wonderful blog and I will "like' it on face book!
 
Funny you should mention this! I just had Sears out to service my dishwasher. Upon the advice of the previous repairman, we now have hot water that will scald you if you aren't careful. That was the last resort. We live in the desert, with extremely hard and mineral laden water. The white scum on everything is intense, but yet the dishwasher detergent (Cascade or any other brand) doesn't completely dissolve.

Also, I should mention I run dishwasher cleaner (usually use Jet-Dry's cleaner) twice a month in my dishwasher to try to stay on top of the hard water deposits.

This new repairman said they're being told to recommend a product called "Lemi-shine" dishwasher detergent additive. I bought some. Not sure of the cost - you use a scant teaspoon-full per load. Dishes feel clean now - and the detergent is dissolving. It's supposed to help with the build up as well.

My glasses looked like they were etched by a 5 year old. After a couple of washes they're looking clean and feel clean - now scummy residue.

I can't believe I'm writing a commercial for this product!!!
 
Lin ~ Wow, the reviews for Lemi Shine on Amazon are amazing, although they are saying that it can be purchased much cheaper at Wal-Mart, etc. I'm off to find some! Thanks!!
 
I had the same issue with my dishwasher and after much hair pulling, frustration, and a repairman call I came upon the answer. A tablespoon or two of regular white vinegar does wonders for the film/deposits previously left behind. Also I agree with Lin - the "Lemi-Shine" additive is good as well, I also use their dishwasher cleaner.
 
Let me know how you life the lemi-shine - just make sure you get the additive (it's a powder), and not the rinse!
 
I put a small bowl in the bottom of my dishwasher and fill it with vinegar each time I run it. Works very well--glasses come out shiny.
 
On the dishwashing question, the (unhappy) fact is that dishwashing by hand beats machine washing hands down (no pun intended) - clean dishes, with no grit, cloudy glasses or scratches. If you fill up the sink rather than running the water while you wash, handwashing uses less water and electricity (or natural gas), too. The only problem is washing by hand takes a lot longer!
 
I made the Rainbow Chicken (twice) in on week (so good) my question is, how could we make it in the slow cooker? I don't want the oven on in the summer...thanks Bonita
 
Bonita - So glad you like the Rainbow Chicken! (Me too!) As for a slow cooker, I'd start with One-Pot Chicken with Beans & Vegetables (which is also fabulous, just made it this week, look for an update later today or tomorrow) as a guide. That said, I know that I really prefer the taste/texture of the oven version of that dish.

Maybe it'll be up to you to figure out how to do Rainbow Chicken in the slow cooker!
 
How would you adjust the temperature/cooking time for using chicken breasts as opposed to thighs or other parts?
 
Monique ~ The time and temperature remain the same. Once it's done pull out a breast to check if the juices run clear, if they do, you're good to go, if they're a little pink, put it back in the oven for another 15 or so minutes. Or if you have an instant-read thermometer, let the meat in the thickest part of one breast reach 165F. Enjoy, love this dish!
 
Thanks Alanna! Made it with the chicken breasts and served it with brown rice - amazing!
 

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna