Thursday, November 15, 2007

Roasted chicken & turnips--on a budget

It was a miserable day in New York--drizzly and windy--but I had the good fortune of being called out to an unexpected meeting in Lower Manhattan. I knew there was a Green Market across from Century 21, and I remembered that the lady who I usually visit when I get a chance to go is full of good humor, and always offers to cut the long stems off of the veggies I buy (unless they're something I can cook, and then she'll advise how to do it). I was in luck: it was Green Market day, and I stopped to pick up some veggies to roast with the chicken I took out of the freezer this morning. What fun! I found some stuff I'd never seen before and decided on a bunch of small white Japanese turnips and some thin carrots. I've never roasted turnips before and I thought it might be fun.

I got home at around 7 pm with a bottle of Spanish Grenache and started on the chicken. I thought I could just wash it up, cut off the ends, and place it in a pan with the chicken, salt, pepper, paprika, and honey. But D was not having it. He had to step in and take over. He soaked the veggies to get all of the sand out, cut up some garlic, onion, and a potato I found. He cut the chicken into pieces, and tossed everything in a bowl with some fresh thyme. I insisted on drizzling the honey, but he mixed it all up in there, too. 400 degrees for an hour, and wow. We served it with the turnip greens that I sauteed with garlic, and it was really nice. I wanted to cut the carrots in half lengthwise, but D advised against it and roasted them whole. He admitted as we were eating, thought, that I'd been right; we should have cut them in half.

The best part of the meal: the cost. I picked up the chicken a few weeks ago on sale at the local grocery store and froze it: $2.35. The carrots and turnips were $3.50. The rest of the stuff I had hanging around, but it couldn't have cost more than $5.00 for everything altogether: half a Spanish onion, five cloves of garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil, 10 sprigs of thyme (a sprig meaning only one twig about 3 1/2 inches only--leaves, of course), and about 2 tablespoons of honey. And the bottle of wine was only $13.00. The whole meal was about $24.00 at the most, and we have two generous lunches for tomorrow.

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