Ralph and I spent our Sunday entertaining two wonderful friends. Whenever we get together, our conversations are all over the map. We only see each other a couple of times a year so there is always much to discuss. It is a precious thing to feel safe and unguarded with people outside of your immediate family. I am not a trusting person. Too many times burned and all of that. I have no difficulty in discussing any topic on a superficial level but beyond that takes a great deal of time for me to feel secure. Instead, I listen and comment on what is being said by the person that I am speaking with rather than revealing my own feelings. Which probably sounds contradictory given that I am the author of this blog and often write about matters close to my heart.
Yesterday, we spent a bit of time talking about just that – how my ‘foodblog’, which I intended to focus solely on recipes that I had either created or borrowed and loved, has morphed into me sharing bits of my life. Taking the time to articulate moments from my life has changed the way I see my world. Writing my blog forces me to be patient. Up until now, I have spent much of my life in the future rather than in the present. I was always more concerned with what was coming next rather than allowing myself to truly enjoy what was happening now.
Perhaps some of this patience allowing me to pause and share comes from experience. I am not sure but I am loving it.
We also spoke about cooking. I told them about a dish that I had prepared for Ralph and I on Friday night. Our friends asked why I didn’t write about my recipes the way I speak about them. Hmmm, never thought about that before. I suppose that I have been mimicking the thousands of recipes that I have read over the years. I wanted the instructions to be simple and clear and not full of embellishments. Our discussion led me to consider that the ’embellishments’ would hold the tricks or little secrets that I have learned over the years that I often take for granted.
For instance, when I am deciding on what herbs to use in a particular dish, I often borrow a combination from an entirely different recipe. The fruit and veggies that I chose for today’s post was from a soup that I had prepared years ago – ‘Cream of Sweet Potato Soup with a swirl of Apricot and Flecks of Zucchini. The apricot swirl had orange juice in it…So on Friday I repurposed the same ingredients with a roasted chicken.
Have a look!
Spatch-Cocked Chicken with Roasted Apricots, Oranges, Sweet Potato, Zucchini and Crispy Herbs
Preheat oven 400*F
Line baking sheet with parchment paper
Remove backbone and wing tips from a three pound chicken then wash and dry bird thoroughly.
Place bird on baking sheet, tuck wings under tops of thighs to prevent burning. Place your palm on the breast centre and push down until you hear the breast bone crack. This will ensure even roasting.
4 ripe apricots, halved and pits discarded
1 sweet potato, unpeeled and sliced into 1″ pieces
2 small oranges, halved
2 small zucchini, cut into eigths
4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
handful each of fresh sage and thyme
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
extra virgin olive oil
Sprinkle fruit, herbs and vegetables on and around chicken.
Season with salt and pepper, squeeze a little juice from each orange half over everything – leaving some of the juice in the orange halves will ensure a burst of warm orange juice while you are eating!
Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over everything and then place baking dish in the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Serves 2-4, depending on how hungry you are!
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Thanks for reading.