Transition Chicken with Chive Butter

The offerings at the Farmer’s Market are slowly going through a transformation. Gone are many of the carrots and potatoes. In their place come bright green bunches of arugula, fragrant bundles of chives and more plant seedlings than I can even count.

In honor of the onset of spring, I put together a dinner that combined the end of winter produce and the early spring produce. Chicken roasted over the last of the winter’s carrots and potatoes, topped with chive butter and arugula.

PSA: Chive butter is AMAZING. So much better than plain butter. I want to melt it and pour it on popcorn. Or eat it on a biscuit. My waistline wouldn’t like it, but my taste buds would.

The only thing that would have made this even more “Welcome, spring!” appropriate would be fresh sliced strawberries. Alas, our strawberry season isn’t quite here yet.

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Transition Chicken with Chive Butter

Transition Chicken with Chive Butter

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds carrots
  • 1 pound fingerling potatoes
  • 1 3-5 pound whole chicken
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups arugula
  • Chive butter (recipe follows)
  • Whole grain side (I chose plain quinoa)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Wash and peel the carrots, and slice into coins approximately 1/2" thick. Scrub the potatoes and cut into bite-sized pieces. Distribute the vegetables evenly over the bottom of a roasting pan.
  3. Clean the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Rub the chicken, inside and out, with the olive oil, then pat the salt and pepper all over.
  4. Place the chicken, breast-side up, in the roasting pan on top of the vegetables.
  5. Cover and bake at 400F for 1 hour. In the meantime, wash and chop the arugula.
  6. Remove the pan from the oven and add the arugula to the vegetables. Cover and bake for another 10-20 minutes, or until the skin is browned and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh or breast reads 165F.
  7. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to rest, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes.
  8. Savvy Tip: The resting stage is very important so that the juices distribute evenly. You don't want dry chicken, do you?
  9. Serve the chicken and roasted vegetables with chive butter (recipe follows) and your favorite whole grain.
http://www.savvyeat.com/transition-chicken-with-chive-butter/

Chive Butter

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Using a fork, mash the chives and salt into the butter until well-mixed. Roll in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
http://www.savvyeat.com/transition-chicken-with-chive-butter/

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Baked Lamb and Veggie Packets

The Ithaca Farmer’s Market returned to the waterside outdoor pavilion this past weekend. As we biked to the market, Dan started laughing at me because I was literally bouncing in my seat. I was just so excited for some fresh local foods!

Sadly, it is still a little early here for spring produce, but there were plenty of carrots and potatoes to go around! We picked up a bag of each, along with a pound of ground beef.

I had come to the market determined to get a new ingredient, something I had never cooked with before. And since produce rations were low, I decided to try a new protein instead: lamb shanks.

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At first bite, the lamb shanks were a little “gamey,” but they quickly grew on me. Cooking them in little parchment paper packets (see note after recipe) made the lamb and vegetables so tender and flavorful, and the quinoa we served with the meal soaked up the extra juices.

Baked Lamb and Veggie Packets

Yield: Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fingerling potatoes (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 5 medium carrots, washed and sliced into 1/2" thick slices (about 2 cups)
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 lamb shanks
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil + more for tossing with the last of the vegetables
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried ground coriander
  • 6 tablespoons dry white wine

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Wash the potatoes and peel the onions, then cut each into bite-sized pieces. Mix the carrots, garlic, potatoes and onions in a large bowl.
  2. Mix the salt, pepper and spices in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. For each lamb shank, tear off about 2 feet of parchment paper. Fold in half to make a large double-layered sheet. Pile approximately one cup of the vegetables into the center of each piece of parchment paper.
  4. Rub one lamb shank all over with olive oil, followed by half the spice mixture. Repeat with the second piece of meat. Place a lamb shank on top of each pile of vegetables.
  5. Fold up the bottom of each piece of parchment paper, and tie in place with cooking twine. Set the packets upright and pour 3 tablespoons of wine into each. Gather the paper around the bone of each shank and tie shut.
  6. Place the packets, bone side up, in a 9x13" baking pan. Bake at 400F for 1 hour.
  7. After an hour of baking, toss the remaining vegetables with olive oil and add to the pan. Bake for another 50 minutes to an hour, until the meat is tender and falling off the bone. Serve with your favorite whole grain.
http://www.savvyeat.com/baked-lamb-and-veggie-packets/

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Notes:

Next time, I would use foil instead of parchment paper. I think it would hold in the heat and moisture better.

Serve with quinoa or couscous.

Have you ever cooked lamb? What new ingredients are you afraid to work with? Or what are you looking forward to cooking with soon?