Thursday, February 26, 2015

Simple and Savory Baked Chicken with Vegetables

Simple and Savory Baked Chicken with Vegetables

After I had my fourth baby, my friend brought dinner over a dinner which changed my relationship with roasted vegetables forever.

I had entered the world of cooked vegetables later in life. My mom, mercifully, never forced us to eat zucchini, beets, brussel sprouts, or any form of squash because she didn't like them. It wasn't until I was married and almost grown up that I first encountered garden grown zucchini sauteed to buttery, garlicky, slightly salty perfection. The tender slices, dripping with joy were amazing, and I became a firm believer that any vegetable can be made edible with enough garlic, salt and butter.

Still, my vegetable love remained more of a flirtation. I learned to enjoy baked sweet potatoes in all varieties- the light honey colored ones to the super sugary tubers the color of a desert sunset. Topped with melted butter was my original preference, until I discovered how perfectly a baked sweet potato paired with roasted pork loin and a savory barbeque sauce. Flirtation turned to full on crush.

Next to tempt was oven roasted broccoli with lemon, pinenuts, and parmesean. I ate it by the panful and things started looking exclusive. Cauliflower wanted to commit, but I really wasn't ready.

Then came those delicious squashes in all their shapes and sizes. While I haven't adored the acorns,  the spaghetti squash- the darlings!- won my infinite affection because not only are they gorgeous with the standard LRH butter/garlic treatment, but my family inhales the pasta-like insides when covered with grilled chicken and Alfredo sauce. Oh. And then I smother that with parmesan cheese and broil that baby until it is nice, bubbly and nearly browned.

But oh, that butternut. Butternut squash roasted with olive oil and sea salt. Roasted with butter and brown sugar. Roasted with butter, garlic, sea salt and cracked black pepper. Roasted and then pureed with cream to make a divine sauce for sausage-stuffed shells.

Buddy the Elf's eloquence captures my feelings exactly, "I'm in love! I'm in love! And I don't care who knows it!"

But back to this dinner. My pictures can't do it justice because I'm still learning how to do that. Still, the meal is simple, delicious, and you'll only need a 9x13 baking pan, which is even better. You get all the goodness of savory veggies steamed in a buttery-chicken broth, and the chicken turns out fork-cutting tender and so flavorful. Three large chicken breasts is usually plenty for my family of 5 eaters, but you can adjust as needed. And the vegetables? Let's just say they put the gorge in gorgeous.


Happy full tummy.

Simple and Savory Baked Chicken with Vegetables


3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cube (1/2 cup) butter
1 package dry italian dressing seasoning
1 lb chopped butternut squash*
3 chopped potatoes*
3 chopped carrots*
*Or any assortment of  vegetables. Cauliflower is an excellent choice as well.


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 pan.
2. Put chicken breasts in pan. 
3. Cover with vegetables.
4. Cut butter into large pats and disperse over the vegetables,
5. Sprinkle italian seasoning evenly over the vegetables and chicken.
6. Cover with foil and bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the vegetables are tender and the chicken is cooked through. 

This is the final product.
See that brothy, chicken veggie goodness?

This is the final product on my actual dinner plate.

This is how I enjoyed the left overs with cilantro honey-lime chicken for lunch the next day.

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