This was such a glorious weekend, plain and simple. The weather was beautiful, and I got to spend lots of quality time with my husband. We ran errands together, watched movies, ate great food, and drank champagne. We had such a full weekend that I did not get around to my blog post until 8pm Sunday evening! But, with a glass of wine in hand and Parenthood on in the background, I still managed to sit and reflect on the simple moments over the past week that make my life beautiful: laughing with students and colleagues, catching bits of conversation with good friends at a kid’s birthday party, shopping with my mom, eating pancakes with Colin, and so much more. Instead of feeling sad that the weekend is over, I feel grateful. Every day and moment can contain all the beauty and happiness you could ever want—I believe you just have to be willing to see it.
Roasted Chicken with Tomatoes, Olives, and Quick Pan Gravy
1 package organic bone-in chicken pieces, 2 breasts and 4 legs (Trader Joe’s!)
1.5 lbs large tomatoes (beefsteak or tomatoes on the vine), cut into quarters
1 14.5 ounce can black olives
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon dairy-free, soy-free butter (Earth Balance is great! I get mine at Whole Foods–use olive oil for paleo)
1 teaspoon herbs de Provence
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
**Optional: you can add 4 garlic cloves, sliced, and 1 large white onion, cut into wedges, if you wish!
Simple Pan Gravy Ingredients (leave out to make it paleo)
1 tablespoon gluten free flour
1 tablespoon vegan butter
Pan drippings from the cooked chicken
1 cup gluten free vegetable or chicken stock
Preheat your oven to 400F. In a roasting pan scatter the tomatoes and olives. Drizzle the olive oil over the tomatoes and olives and sprinkle with the herbs de Provence and a few cracks of sea salt and pepper. Move the tomatoes and olives to the edges of the roasting pan and add the chicken pieces to the middle. Melt the vegan butter and drizzle that over the chicken, sprinkle with a good amount of sea salt (3ish cracks per piece), pepper, and the thyme.
*Roast for about 60 minutes (check if breasts are done around 45). I roasted mine for an hour. Once done, remove chicken to a platter and scatter tomatoes and olives around it.
Instructions for the Pan Gravy
Put your roasting pan over 2 burners to heat up the drippings and loosen any bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Make a paste of the softened butter and flour and add to the pan. Whisk to combine and until smooth. Let simmer for a few minutes, and taste to see if it needs any seasoning. Mine was awesome as is! I used vegetable stock because that is all I had but it was SO flavorful.
*Cooking times may vary. Bone-in breasts take longer than legs, but the legs stay juicy. The breasts will take around 1 hour to cook in a roasting pan. On a cookie sheet, I imagine the cooking time would be less (at the chicken would have more color). Check whether they are done by piercing the breast by the bone to make sure the juices run clear. If you use only legs, they would probably take around 30-40 minutes. Boneless chicken is a whole other story and much faster, but I prefer bone-in chicken.
**If you have IBS, IBD, or a sensitive stomach, you can leave the garlic and onions out, and you will not miss a THING! Plus, you’ll feel great.
Inspiration from Epicurious