Batter Licker

January 9, 2012

roasted chicken, cabbage and bosc pear

This might be the easiest dinner ever. Prep takes mmmmmmmm … maybe five minutes, involving only a little basic slicing and the rubbing and sprinkling of spices. Then the oven works its magic for 45 minutes or so while the scent of roasted chicken wafts through the air, tickling noses and taste buds alike.

And have you ever had roasted cabbage before? It’s heavenly. You should try it. Especially if you think you don’t like cabbage. The sweet cabbage develops this nutty, charred flavor and crispy edges that drive me so absolutely bonkers that I make brilliant decisions. Like roasting an entire, giant cabbage for just two people’s dinner. Operation Super Awesome Lunch Leftovers: Complete.

Thick slices of cabbage get layered across the bottom of a casserole dish, then topped with bosc pear halves and sprinkled with spices. Think of this as the platform for roasting the chicken legs.

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Chicken gets the spice rub-down. I chose a mix of coriander, ginger and just a little garlic to go with the pears. Then I balanced the chicken legs atop the pears, which I had nestled among cabbage, to ensure runoff chicken fat and juice would baste the fruit and vegetable with flavor while roasting.

Three-quarters of an hour later, I opened the oven to welcome a crispy-skinned chicken onto my plate, along with a heap of my all-time favorite cabbage preparation and a delightfully crunchy, not-too-sweet baked pear. Incredibly satisfying, yet happens to be quite healthy for all the new year’s resolution-followers out there.

Or you could go for overkill like I did, and add a scoop of leftover pear risotto to recover after today’s intense spin class.

Roasted Chicken, Cabbage and Bosc Pear
Serves 2 to 4

Whole chicken legs can be substituted with chicken breasts, etc. (bone-in, skin-on recommended for better flavor); however, that will change the cooking time, and the chicken may need to be removed before the cabbage and pear are done.

1 green cabbage, cored, halved and cut into 1-inch thick slices
1 bosc pear, cored and halved
1 Tbsp. olive oil, plus more for coating chicken
1 Tbsp. brown sugar or honey
3/4 tsp. salt, divided
1 tsp. ground coriander, divided
1 tsp. ground cinnamon, divided
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
pinch of cayenne pepper
2 whole chicken legs (double up to feed more; 4 legs would fit in my pan)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven to 400F.

Lightly coat bottom of large casserole dish or roasting pan with oil. Arrange cabbage slices in even layer across the bottom of the dish, and nestle the pear halves (cut side up) into the cabbage. It’s fine if the pears stick up a bit – they can serve as a little stand for the chicken. Sprinkle brown sugar on the pears. Then sprinkle 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. coriander, cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. ginger, nutmeg and cayenne pepper evenly across the pears and cabbage. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp. olive oil.

Rub chicken legs with a couple tablespoons of olive oil until both sides are coated. Massage remaining 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. coriander, 1/2 tsp. ginger, garlic powder, and black pepper into both sides of each chicken leg. Arrange chicken atop the pears and cabbage, skin side up.

Roast chicken in oven for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350F, and continue roasting until chicken juices run clear, about 10 to 20 additional minutes. If chicken skin isn’t quite as browned and crispy as desired, broil the chicken during the last 2 to 5 minutes. Remove from oven, tent with foil, and allow to rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

** This is not a paid post. Free bosc pears were received from Frog Hollow Farm but not in exchange for content. **

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