Recently I invited friends over with their kids for pizza. After really thinking about it I decided I wanted to cook, but I wanted to come up with something that I could prep and basically have ready before they got here. And if all else failed we could still order pizza.
My menu : Roasted Chicken, Roasted Potatoes with aioli, Sautéed Green Beans with almonds, and Roasted Red Onion and Arugula Salad. Dessert : Salted Chocolate chunk cookies (made the day before).
I currently have one oven, hopefully I will get a set of double ovens in the near future, so until then I have to have a plan of attack. My plan was to prep the green beans and roast the red onions that morning (or you can do it the day before). While my chickens sit out to reach room temp, I cook the potatoes about half way and lay the arugula out on platter in the fridge. Then while the chickens roast, the roasted onions come to room temp. I attempted to make the aioli early and it separated before we even sat down. When the chickens were done I set them on the counter and tented them with foil so they could rest for about 30 min. Then I cooked the green beans on the stove and threw the potatoes back in the oven to warm them.
When I want to cook something that I know will work every. single. time. I go with Roasted Chicken. My all time favorite recipe is Food52 Barbara Kafka’s Simple Roast Chicken. This is the best, the main trick with this recipe is allowing the chicken to come to room temperature. I usually let it sit out on the counter for about an hour and a half. Also make sure your oven is semi clean if not just cleaned, because this is roasted at a high temperature it usually smokes up the kitchen.
Potatoes are always a favorite, especially when I can make them ahead of time! Adding the aioli makes them a little more special. Although I did mess it up this time around, it still tasted great! The aioli recipe I used is from Mimi Thorisson French Country Cooking.
One of the reasons I chose to do green beans was it is easy and I could do it on the stove while I used the oven for the potatoes. Toping it with crushed almonds elevates it as a side dish.
This salad is one of my favorites and my husbands as well. It is easy to assemble last min as long as all of the prep work has been done ahead of time. I don’t love walnuts so i use pecans. I prefer to use platter instead of a salad bowl, everything tends to fall to the bottom. Food52 Roasted Onion Salad
For dessert I wanted to stay simple, and who doesn’t like Chocolate Chip Cookies? Especially when they are dusted with flaked sea salt. These were a total hit and a lifesaver, about 5 minutes into dinner the kids started to rebel so cookies to the rescue and paw patrol didn’t hurt! That bought us a chance to actually enjoy our meal!