When we were on our honeymoon, twelve-years ago this month, we went to a Turkish bath in Istanbul. Santa Maria went off to one side of the building, and I went to another. I laid out by myself on a marble slab and marveled at the sheer whiteness of the ancient room I was in. Because I had to leave my eyeglasses in the locker room and the world is an impressionistic blur to me without them, I was a bit befuddled. Also, I wasn’t sure about what to do with my towel (leave it around my waist, or take it off?), so I didn’t enjoy the bath as much as I thought I might have.
I did like having a good shvitz, though, and I was thinking of that this today. For though I wasn’t in Turkey, I was sweating it out in the kitchen of our Brooklyn apartment. It was Sunday, which around here means “cook-for-the-week” time, and we had spent the morning visiting friends in Manhattan. We got about around 3 p.m., and I started chopping. I knocked off a tagine for Monday night (I had started by marinating the beef on Friday), black beans for Tuesday, and a giant bowl of quinoa salad, for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday lunches (Santa Maria and I will split it).
At the same time, of course, I needed to make Sunday dinner. Now that summer is here, I’m back to making the chicken/red-pepper/arugula salad. It’s a super easy, super delicious, spectacular summer dish. It is good for a hot day because the chicken is cut into pieces, and this means that it takes slightly less time to roast than a whole bird. When you don’t want to heat the house up too much, this is important.
I love this salad, and I’ve written about it before (see here for how it is a good, break-apart-to-keep-the-family-together dish), but tonight I added a new twist: tiny roasted potatoes. They added a bit of salty crunch and, because they are a starch, turned the salad into a complete meal. It made perfect sense to add them to the mix—I had the oven going anyway, and I was already sweating.
- 1 Chicken, cut into parts
- One Onion, sliced
- One Red Pepper, sliced
- Olive Oil, a drizzle
- 1 baking potato, diced very fine
- Thyme, to taste
- Salt and Pepper
- White wine
- Arugula (enough for two to four, depending on how many you are serving)
Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees
Mix the chicken, onion, pepper, thyme, and olive oil in a bowl until well coated.
Arrange the chicken in a large roasting pan so it is skin side up. Put the onions and peppers in and around the chicken.
Salt and Pepper to taste.
Roast the chicken and the vegetables until the onion and pepper are soft and the chicken is crispy and cooked through, about a half hour to forty-five minutes.
Rinse the diced potatoes in water and dry them with a dish towel.
Put them in a bowl and coat with oil. Salt to taste.
Lay them out on a large baking sheet and roast in the oven with the chicken, taking care not to burn them. They will take about a half hour.
Remove the chicken, onions, and peppers when the chicken is brown and the internal temperature of the breast is about 165.
Wash the arugula and dress with oil and vinegar. Lay chicken pieces, onion, and red pepper over the greens. Top with the roasted potatoes.