Getting a home-cooked meal on the table every day is an admirable goal, but it shouldn’t get in the way of your life! In Bare Minimum Dinners, Jenna Helwig—food director at Real Simple magazine—shares delicious, easy recipes so you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying your meal…or doing whatever else you want!
Chapters include: Bare Minimum Time (30 minutes or less); Bare Minimum Ingredients (7 ingredients or less, including salt and olive oil); Bare Minimum Hands-On Time (slow-cooker and Instant Pot meals); Bare Minimum Clean-Up (one-pot/sheet pan/skillet meals); and Bare Minimum Sides (super-simple vegetables, salads, and grains so you can feel good about serving healthy, well-rounded dinners).
Throughout, Jenna offers helpful tips—for example, how to keep salad greens fresh and at the ready, easy substitutions, and suggested supermarket brands—as well as easy ideas for dressing up or rounding out your meal.
One-Pan Chicken Dinner
MAKES 4 SERVINGS
This is a bare minimum dinner that feels like an event. Since you’re preheating the skillet, you can cook the chicken directly in the pan, no roasting rack required. Don’t skip squeezing the lemon over the entire dish. The acid perks everything up.
1 4-pound chicken, gizzards removed
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1½ pounds baby potatoes
1 lemon, halved
DRESS IT UP Flaky sea salt, chopped parsley or tarragon, Dijon mustard
- Preheat the oven to 450°F. Place a 12-inch or larger cast iron skillet in the oven as it heats.
- Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Sprinkle a little less than half of the kosher salt on its underside. Sprinkle the rest of the salt on top of the chicken, along with plenty of pepper.
- Once the oven is preheated, carefully remove the skillet. Place the chicken breast side up in the skillet; you should hear a sizzle. Drizzle with the olive oil and roast for 30 minutes.
- Carefully remove the skillet from the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F. Add the potatoes to the pan with the chicken. They will be mounded up in places, and that’s fine. Nestle in the lemon halves. Continue to roast until an instantread thermometer inserted into the meatiest part of the thigh reaches 165°F, 35 to 45 minutes. Transfer the chicken and lemons to a cutting board. Spread the potatoes into a single layer in the skillet and return them to the oven. Continue roasting the potatoes for 15 minutes while the chicken rests.
- Carve the chicken and place it on a serving platter. Transfer the potatoes to a serving bowl. Squeeze the lemon halves over the chicken and potatoes. Sprinkle the potatoes with flaky sea salt, top with herbs, and serve with Dijon mustard for dabbing, if desired.
Recipe reprinted with permission from Mariner Books.