Wednesday, April 25, 2007


This is a recipe perfect for the transition from winter to spring. After I cooked it on Sunday night, while we were digging into plates piled high with lemony, juicy chicken, tender browned potatoes, and perfectly roasted asparagus, I mentioned to A that I’d found the recipe on the Martha Stewart Web site.

“God bless Martha!” he proclaimed, sucking a leg bone clean and wiping his fingers. “Winfrey and Stewart in ’08!”

I pointed out that, as a convicted felon, Martha can’t even vote, so it’s doubtful she can hold an elected office. Neither of us was sure whether this also means she isn’t eligible for an appointed position, but we tentatively settled upon naming her Secretary of State. Surely (even though it was more likely created by her minions at the magazine) Martha deserves some sort of honor for bringing us this delectable, insanely easy recipe. Seriously: toss potatoes and butter in pan and bake; add chicken and bake; add asparagus and lemon and thyme and bake; eat. That’s pretty much all there is to it. It’s the kind of thing that sounds so simple it can’t possibly taste like anything special, but not so! After dinner, while ostensibly cleaning the kitchen, I kept delaying rinsing out the roasting pan so I could dip leftover potatoes in the remaining pan juices.

1½ pounds small new potatoes, halved
3 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper
1 whole cut-up chicken (about 3 pounds)
1 pound asparagus
1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges
6 sprigs fresh thyme

1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees.

2. Place potatoes and 1½ tablespoons butter in a large, shallow roasting pan; season with salt and pepper. Roast, tossing once, until potatoes are golden, 20–25 minutes.

3. Place chicken, skin side up, on top of potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Roast until chicken begins to brown about 20–25 minutes.

4. Scatter asparagus, lemon, and thyme around chicken. Cut remaining 1½ tablespoons butter into small pieces and sprinkle on top. Roast until asparagus is tender and chicken is opaque throughout (and nicely browned), 5–15 minutes. Serve chicken and vegetables drizzled with pan juices.

Serves: 4
Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

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