A little while back, I was making a large meal for family coming into town, but I left all the raw chicken I needed outside of the fridge for a long time. Later that day, I ran into an acquaintance who has a ton of cooking experience. I asked them if the raw chicken I left out was still good to cook with. I was nervous they would say I shouldn't use it and then I would burst into tears in public. But instead I was told: "Well, I'm not really sure because that kind of thing doesn't really happen to me. I think we have pretty different personalities. I don't normally forget things like that."
What a painful punch in the gut! I'm not sure I was able to respond. I just kind of smiled politely and maybe gave a thumbs up. I also don't know what happened to the chicken. I probably threw it away along with my self-esteem and ability to speak.
I hear things like this from various people way too often. I think a lot of women do. We try to protect ourselves by trying to appear put-together at all times, but no one's immune. If you're like me and you can't breathe, let alone speak, after a rough comment, I'm totally there with you. Just come to this blog and tell me what happened. We'll get outraged together and then I'll remind you that you're actually a great mom.
As for the recipe for this post, it is in fact the dish I was at least planning to serve for that weekend with family. I hope you only get compliments for this recipe, and nothing else.
Recipe for My Mom's Roasted Chicken and Potatoes 'In a Bag'
Increase based on the number of people you're serving. I do about 1 thigh and 1 leg of chicken per person. For 6 people, you could use 6 chicken thighs and 6 legs, but it doesn't have to be exact. Add a handful extra potatoes per extra person. Leftovers will taste great warmed up the next day.
6 chicken thighs
6 chicken legs
2 pounds baby potatoes (red or yellow)
1 sweet potato
Olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika
Purchase medium/large oven bags and foil pans. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut the potatoes in half (or quarters for larger ones). Cut the sweet potatoes to roughly the size of the baby potatoes. They'll cook faster but they add to the sauce and flavor. Cut the onion into quarters and separate the layers. Place half of the onion layers, as well as half of the potatoes into one oven bag. Add half of the chicken to the bag.
Drizzle about 1/4-1/2 cup olive oil into the bag. Enough so that when mixed, it will coat everything nicely with a little left over. Generously sprinkle the spices inside. Close the bag in one hand, and move around the ingredients with the other till well mixed. Close bag with a tie. Gently flatten/spread out the contents on the pan. Poke the bag with a fork about 8 times for holes. Repeat everything with a second bag*. Cook for 45 minutes to an hour or until the potatoes are soft (you can poke through the bag with a fork). When you're about ready to serve, empty the bag into a pan/oven-to-table serveware (careful - super hot!). Add more salt, pepper, and paprika and broil (or cook at 415 degrees) for several minutes to brown.
*If you're increasing the recipe, use enough bags/pans so that the ingredients aren't overcrowded. The chicken and potatoes should be flat-ish (with some overlap) on the pan.