Monday, March 21, 2011

Leftovers Revamped with Peruvian Chicken Dish

Leftovers really have a bad reputation, though I'm not sure why. I mean, I live for leftovers. In a mere few minutes, I have ready-to-eat, no-fuss food. Maybe combining the words "left" and "over" has a negative connotation, as if the extra food isn't worthwhile. Poor leftovers. Don't worry, you're always welcome in my house.

Leftovers will be happily eaten in my family if they are this Peruvian-Style Roasted Chicken dish, as pictured. I'd categorize this as a quick weeknight meal only if you have about an hour and a half to chop the ingredients and let the dish bake, but not many of us have that kind of time in the evening. So make this on the weekend when you have more time, and then come Monday morning, you'll have great leftovers for lunch or even dinner. I love this dish because of the delicious combination of flavors and the chicken ends up melting in your mouth. And it's pretty healthy as well. Bring on the leftovers!

Peruvian-Style Roasted Chicken
Courtesy of Whole Foods

1 1/2 tsp. canola oil, plus more for oiling the pan
1 1/2 T. sweet paprika (regular paprika is fine)
1 T. ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
1 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 1/2 T. white wine vinegar
2 large sweet onions, peeled and thickly sliced (definitely use sweet onions, not regular onions, otherwise the dish won't taste as good)
1 chicken, cut into 10 serving pieces* (I used 2-3 chicken breasts instead.)
2 red or yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded and cut into chunks
1 lemon, sliced

Preheat oven to 425°F. Oil a large roasting pan and set aside. In a small bowl, combine paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, garlic, vinegar and oil to make a paste. Place onions in a large bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of the paste. Rub chicken pieces with remaining paste and place in prepared pan, then cover with onions, peppers and lemon. Roast, basting occasionally with pan juices, until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are very tender, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes before serving. Serve over rice.

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