When Scarlett was tiny she used to visit the day care at my club/gym while I worked out. Each day you could count on the same toddlers to be there, and they all became such sweet friends. There was the mischevous Blake with the gorgeous grin or the effusive Ella who would round-up the girls for a serious session of dress up. Then, of course, there was Chase–The boy with the impossibly long eyelashes (why do the boys always get them?). Chase had a cunning charm he would use to pinch snacks from unsuspecting friends. He'd sidle up next to a kid who had the snack he most coveted and would smoothly snatch it. Scarlett always got so ticked off, but I thought he was the greatest. I couldn't believe his finesse. Now, a few years later, Scarlett and Chase share snacks enthusiastically. I've also gotten used to sharing a coffee with his mom, Kyra.
A friend who is so remarkably direct, I think I've met my match. Kyra has one of the biggest hearts and can be a voice of unwavering reason that cuts through the clutter of my day. If only I had Kyra as a friend sooner. She's so kind when I asked her to cook with her children (Chase and the 6-but-going-on-16 Nicole), during what was a hectic week for her, she didn't smack me across the face. Instead she eagerly agreed. I'd heard the lore of her roasted chicken and had to get my hands on it. "This is one of the easiest dishes with a prep time of 20 minutes," Kyra promises. "I can set the timer on my range and go to the park with the kids. Then, when I get home exhausted with hungry kids, there is a delicious meal ready to eat." Sign me up.
Roasted Chicken and Romanesco Cauliflower and Potatoes
3 stalks organic celery, chopped
6 organic rainbow carrots, chopped
2 to 3 small organic onions, cut into quarters
900 ml organic chicken broth
6 to 8 organic potatoes, cut into quarters
1 head of Romanesco cauliflower, cleaned and chopped
1 tablespoon dried oregano or chopped fresh
1 tablespoon dried thyme or chopped fresh
1 tablespoon dried rosemary or six sprigs fresh
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350.
In a large glass pan, marinate organic, flattened chicken (Kyra recommends Rowe Farms but any butcher will butterfly) overnight with fresh thyme, oregano and rosemary.
The following day, place chicken into a large roasting pan. Add broth, carrots, onion, and celery. Cook covered for 1 hour.
After half an hour, place potatoes in a separate roasting dish, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in the oven and roast for one hour until tender and brown.
Bring a pot of water to boil and add Romanesco cauliflower for three minutes. After roasting for an hour, uncover the chicken and add the cauliflower to the pan. Finish roasting uncovered for 30 minutes.
Kyra finds it easy to get the kids involved on this dish because Nicole "likes to do the chopping" while Chase loves "mixing." And Mommy likes going into the other room and taking a nap. I'm lying. Kyra didn't say that, but it sounded good. In Kyra's busy week, I bet this typical mom, who struggles to find quality time with her children, melted upon hearing Nicole's declaration that she loves cooking because "I get to spend more time with you Mommy." I know I did when Kyra told me.