Here are 2 wonderful winter meals. One is an elegant dinner for the first night and then a hearty soup made from the roasted chicken is for the second night.
The key to success hinges on using chicken breasts with bones. Sometimes these are called split breasts or chicken with ribs. You can find them in the poultry section of your local store.
Place the chicken breasts in a lightly oiled, oven-proof pan with some wedged beets, minced fresh garlic, and poultry seasonings.
You can use dried seasonings or fresh herbs. I was using a fresh herb mix called poultry herbs that consist of thyme, sage, and rosemary. I like to buy this mix because you get three types of herbs in one package. A little black pepper is great, too.
The beets used are a combination of gold and red. They are rinsed (remove all dirt) and then cut into wedges.
Bake for 45 minutes at 375F or until the chicken is done (internal temp of 165 and juices run clear).
Remove the chicken meat from the bone and add to a plate with the beets. I was cooking this meal ahead of time so I just placed it on a plate for pictures and then refrigerated promptly in a bowl, ready to reheat later.
Okay it is time to make the soup.
Now you are ready to use the same pan and the chicken bones to make a delicious soup!
Add some chopped vegetables. Here I used a combo of items on hand: parsnip, peppers, onions, carrots, and fennel.
Add about 2 cups of lentils and 4 cups of water.
Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer. Simmer until the lentils are tender, about 30-40 minutes. The chicken will fall off the bone as you cook and stir. You can take off any remaining pieces of chicken and add them to the soup. Discard the bones. Season to taste with salt and pepper. You can also add more fresh herbs from the poultry mix.
Serve hot or refrigerate until ready to serve.
These items go great with a salad. Here is one with a kale greens mix, diced oranges, and dried cranberries. It will be dressed with vinegar and oil.
Judy’s passion for cooking began with helping her grandmother make raisin oatmeal for breakfast. From there she earned her first food service job at 15, was accepted to the world famous Culinary Institute of America at 18 (where she graduated second in her class), and went on to the Fachschule Richemont in Switzerland where she focused on pastry arts and baking. But after learning that the quality of a croissant directly varies with how much butter it has, Judy sought to challenge herself by coming up with recipes that were as healthy as they were tasty.
Judy received The Culinary Institute of America’s Pro Chef II certification, the American Culinary Federation Bronze Medal, Gold Medal, and ACF Chef of the Year. Her enthusiasm for eating nutritiously and deliciously leads her to constantly innovate and use the latest in nutritional science to guide her creativity, from putting new twists on fajitas to adapting Italian brownies to include ingredients like toasted nuts and cooked honey. Judy’s publishing company, Food and Health Communications, is dedicated to her vision that everyone can make food that tastes as good as it is for you.