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!
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.
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?
Time to table: 1 - 3/4 hours
- 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.
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
More Favorite Chicken Recipes
Shop Your Pantry First
© Copyright 2011 Kitchen Parade