The Friday-night meal (for this Friday): Roasted Chicken Provençal
This recipe is the starting point. The changes I make:
Line the roasting pan with a sheet of aluminum foil.
Use boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into bite-size pieces. I season the flour with salt and pepper and shake the chicken with the flour in a plastic bag to coat the chicken. After I place it in the pan, I salt and pepper it anyway.
After I spread the floured chicken over the oiled aluminum foil and salt and pepper it, I then gather about 7-8 shallots halved longitudinally (that’s 14-16 pieces), about 12-16 garlic cloves, and 4 Meyer lemons with the ends cut off, halved longitudinally, and then each half trisected longitudinally. I put these among the chicken pieces, mashing them somewhat so they nestle among the chicken rather than lying on top—I figure they’re all going to cook (50 minutes total at 400ºF), so no need to be precise.
I do use the 1/3 cup dry vermouth, but in the “basting” step after 25 mnutes, I never have much to baste.
Two Tbsp of Herbes de Provence is quite a bit, but it works. We’ve had this before and I’m sure we’ll have it again.
It works out well with my cooking interruptus method: I cut up the chicken thighs and put them in a bowl in the fridge. Later, I come back and trim and peel the shallots. Then another tranche is to get out the roasting pan, put in the foil, and add the 3 Tbsp olive oil. Another step is to measure out the herbs and the vermouth and put the seasoned flour in the plastic bag. Another step is cutting up the lemons (done shortly before assembling, after I turn the oven on).
As you can see that breaks the recipe into 5 steps, and after each step I read, or blog, or watch a movie. Makes it less of a chore, more of a pleasant distraction.
At the 25-minute mark, I added another 1/3 c dry vermouth. At the end (a total of 50 minutes cooking time), everything was done and delicious.