This is How to Make a Cozy Dinner: Roast Chicken with Potatoes, Shallots, and Asparagus

Roast Chicken with Asparagus

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Parboil small red potatoes in water or chicken broth for 10 minutes. Set a rack in the roasting pan and line with parboiled potatoes and 6 whole shallots (tips cut off). Make slits in the skin of a roasting chicken, rub slivers of salted butter under the skin. Cut a lemon into wedges and stuff half of them into the cavity of the bird, scatter the remaining half in with the potatoes and shallots. Drizzle olive oil over the whole shebang and season liberally with kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper. Put the whole thing into the oven and roast for 50 minutes or until a thermometer reads 165 degrees when inserted into the thickest part of the breast. Remove the woody parts of a bunch of asparagus and steam for 5 minutes, give or take, depending on the size. Toss with potatoes and shallots, check for seasoning. Eat on the couch, preferably in your pajamas while reading an Adam Dalgleish police procedural as written by the late, great P.D. James.

Roasted Potato Salad with Green Beans and Bacon

Roasted Potato and Green Bean Salad

This recipe began as an effort to use up roasted potatoes and green beans that I had served with a slow cooker pot roast the night before. It was inspired by a recipe for a French potato and green bean salad I remember making on repeat when I was in university, I’ve often though of it but until now have yet to recreate it. I added in the crispy bits of roasted bacon as an extra flourish, the salty bite of the pork combines with the acidic tang of the red wine vinegar with serendipitous results. When I make potato salads with an oil and vinegar based dressing I like to up the ratio of oil to vinegar so that they are 1:1, the starchiness of the potatoes seems to absorb some of the shock from what otherwise might be a too tart dressing. Other things I’ve added to this salad include romaine lettuce, capers, tinned Italian tuna in olive oil, chickpeas, and Adzuki beans. Although this should rest for a few minutes after it’s prepared, know that the texture of the potatoes begins to deteriorate fairly rapidly after the dressing is applied (although it just turns into a delicious albeit slightly softer leftover lunch.)

roasted potato salad with green beans and bacon:

1 lb. small red skinned potatoes

1 lb. green beans, lately I’ve been sing hericots verts because the little grocery store by my house has been selling them for a great price

3 slices of bacon, cut into a small dice

Grapeseed or vegetable oil

2 shallots, thinly sliced

1 cup of flat leaf parsley, roughly torn

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

1/3 cup olive oil

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

Kosher salt

Freshly cracked black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange the potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet, drizzle generously with grapeseed or other neutral oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 minutes before adding the green beans and bacon to the pan, stirring to coat with oil before roasting for another 20-25 minutes.

2. Transfer to a large bowl and let the potatoes, green beans, and bacon come to room temperature before continuing with the recipe or refrigerate for future use. Slice the roasted potatoes and green beans into smaller pieces before adding in the shallots and parsley.

3. Whisk together the red wine vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, kosher salt, and freshly cracked pepper before pouring the salad dressing over the potatoes and green beans and allow to sit for at 15 minutes before serving either cold or at room temperature.

In this particular instance, I served the salad with grilled cheese made from the leftover shredded pot roast and 3 year old Isle. aux Grues cheddar.

Grilled Cheese

I have found a new musical infatuation! Snowbird sounds like a slightly folksy and simultaneously shoegazey version of the Cocteau Twins with an English translation (as it should be, former member Simon Raymonde has a shining place in this band.) The whole record is lovely and ethereal and I genuinely found it difficult to choose a favourite song for this entry, I think at the moment this would be the most listened to song on the album (although this is actually part of an included remix album of Moon.)

Snowbird – Porcelain (RxGibbs remix)



Hasselback Potatoes

Quick little recipe this evening – these potatoes look extremely fancy and taste crispy and salty and perfect. If you want to make these potatoes the only strong recommendation I offer is that you choose an extra sharp knife otherwise the process becomes tedious and unpleasant. I chose this Nigella Lawson recipe last night to go with some chicken for an easy Saturday supper spent watching Jeeves & Wooster- I still don’t know very many people here in Vancouver yet so my introversion skills are being expertly honed; at this point I’m even admitting to myself some outside contact might be an appropriate call to action at the moment. Anyway, these are really good and impressive to look at so I urge you to make them whenever you next feel a yearning for even-better than roasted potatoes – your tastes will obviously vary but I adore these a little bit over-cooked rather than under as all of the surface area browns and caramelizes while the inside remains creamy and light.

hasselback potatoes:

As many medium-sized new potatoes as you’d like (not the really tiny ones)

A light olive oil or canola oil

Kosher salt

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

2. Scrub the potatoes and allow them to dry in a colander while you line a baking sheet/jelly roll tin with parchment paper. Drizzle some oil on the paper and distribute it over the whole surface with your fingers; sprinkle some salt over the oil.

3. Put a potato in the basin of a wooden spoon on it’s side, this prevents the potato from slipping around and possible accidents. At about 2 mm intervals slice 3/4 of the way through the potato until one whole side has been sliced. Place the potato cut side down on the baking sheet and repeat with the remaining potatoes. When they are all ready to go drizzle a little bit more oil over the backs of the potatoes before putting in the oven.

4. Start checking around 40 minutes to see if the cut side of the potatoes are crispy enough for your taste at which point they need to flipped onto their backs and roasted for another 15-20 minutes.

I have been listening to Joni Mitchell almost all of the time for about the past 2 years, there is something so familiar to me in both terms of sound and lyrical content, like it is inherently part of my first memories of colour and shape. I know that might sound ridiculous but when I think of major life events thus far in my life I feel like Joni Mitchell always provides an always germane soundtrack to things that have unfolded brightly and less-than brightly over the past 26 years.

Joni Mitchell – Chelsea Morning