Have you bought your copy of The Barefoot Contessa’s latest cookbook How Easy is That? If not, you’d better hurry if you want it under your tree for Christmas. The book is all that the title promises and more. How does popcorn drizzled with truffle butter sound served with a glass of bubbly? Or perhaps you prefer rich fresh salmon tartare or roasted figs with proscuitto. It’s all in the book, plus lots of other easy but sophisticated recipes that only Ina knows how to do best.
One of my all time favorite recipes of Ina’s is roasted chicken breasts. You’ve probably even made it yourself. Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil over chicken breasts with bones, sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, pop in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 30 – 40 minutes and you have the best and easiest roasted chicken breasts ever. And – with the leftovers, you can have a chicken sandwich or salad the next day. It’s a “go-to” in our house on a regular basis.
In her new cookbook, she’s added fresh lemons and garlic to the chicken breasts and it’s even more fabulous than her original recipe. All she did was heat a little extra virgin olive oil in a sauce pan and add some chopped fresh garlic and let heat ever so gently until the garlic softens but doesn’t start to brown. Off heat, add a splash of dry white wine, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, some chopped fresh thyme and a pinch or so of dried oregano to the olive oil mixture, pour over the chicken breasts (no bones this time, but still skin), throw in some slices of fresh lemon and cook at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes or so and you’ve got the most fabulous baked chicken ever.
I decided to serve the lemon roasted chicken with roasted carrots. When I found these organic rainbow carrots at the market, I knew they would be a fabulous choice. Since they are organic, I washed them but it’s not necessary to peel them. One was larger than the other, so I sliced it in half. I drizzled them with some extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled them with kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and chopped fresh thyme leaves and roasted them in the same 400 degree F oven with the chicken for 20 – 30 minutes, depending on their size and voila, dinner was ready.
How easy is that?