Sunday Dinner, Chapter 7: In Which We Attempt to Start a New Habit

Ah, Sunday dinner, how we love thee.  It’s starting to cool down a little in Boston, for which we are truly grateful, so it was nice to get out, go grocery shopping, drink some tea.

And we are trying out some new good habits in our married life (see last week’s Sunday Dinner episode, that of the actual eating at the kitchen table). This new good habit we picked up from JH and AP. They have an adorable chalkboard on which they write out what they’ll have for dinner each night of the week. Brilliant!

We have no chalkboard, but we do have paper and pen, so we’ve decided to do the same, because asking “what do you want to do for dinner?” nearly every night is, unbelievably, not getting more fun.  Also, we figure that fewer trips to the freezer for frozen pizza might be kind of ok for our waistlines.

So this week is the (first, we hope) week of planned dinners. We’ll let you know how it goes!

Tonight’s Dinner:  Roast chicken, roasted asparagus and sweet potatoes, and stuffing.

Mr. O set the table and lit the candles!

Table, set and lighted

Roast chicken is one of life’s most simple and delightful gastronomic pleasures, which we forget about during the summer, because it is too hot for civilized people to be using the oven for an hour and a half. Tonight though, roast chicken made its fall comeback.

Simple and Delightful Roast Chicken

  • 5-lb. chicken
  • 1 lemon
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Clean out the chicken innards (gross. Now that we are married, Mr. O does this bit, because he is a kind and generous husband.).  Slice a lemon and stuff the cavity with it. Set the chicken in a roasting pan, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with thyme if you’re so inclined.

Roast at 400 degrees for a half hour, then dial down the heat to 350 for another hour. Restrain yourself from nibbling immediately; the chicken will retain its juices better if it’s allowed to rest for 15-20 minutes.  Mr. O and I made it to 10 minutes.

Simple and Delicious Roast Chicken

Mr. O chefed the stuffing, which is good old Pepperidge Farm mixed with Irish breakfast sausage . . . and butter.  With thyme on top.  He baked it in the oven because he knows I don’t like mushy stuffing — I like it crisp and delicious.  And of course we baked it separately from the chicken — in this age of factory farming, it simply isn’t safe to eat stuffing roasted in the bird, which is such a shame. Mr. O and I try to buy natural chickens — this one was — but still.  Better safe than sorry.

Mr. O's Delicious Stuffing

And of course, vegetables.  Tasty! It’s amazing how different sweet potatoes taste when they’re cubed, rather than mashed with butter, brown sugar, and other toppings.  Cubed, with olive oil and s&p, sweet potato tastes rather like butternut squash, but milder and sweeter.


And here is the finished plate:

Sunday Dinner, Chapter 7

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