Events, features and things to do for families in New Hampshire
By Susan Nye
A family dinner is a great opportunity to introduce your children to new foods and explore new tastes. A 2003 study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that repeated exposure helped children learn to enjoy different foods.
Let your child take a little portion or add it to a kid-friendly favorite and insist he or she finish their small serving. Whether it’s broccoli, spinach, a piece of salmon or a new spice, don’t give up on the first try. Familiarity will not breed contempt but rather acceptance. Eventually, with repetition, many healthy foods and more interesting herbs and spices will be embraced as family favorites.
Roast chicken is one of the simplest dishes you can make. Prep time is minimal but it does take a couple of hours to reach golden perfection. It is the perfect weekend meal with an added bonus. You can enjoy the leftovers with a quick sauce and pasta later in the week.
1 (5 to 6 lbs.) roasting chicken
1 lemon, halved
1 tsp. herbs de Provence
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 c. white wine
1/2 c. chicken broth
1 T. Dijon mustard
2 T. cognac (optional)
1 T. butter, cut in small pieces
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Remove the giblets and reserve for another use or discard. Rinse the chicken inside and out and pat dry.
Squeeze the lemon evenly over the chicken to coat. Sprinkle the chicken inside and out with the herbs de Provence, salt and pepper. Put the squeezed lemon halves into the chicken cavity and place the chicken on a rack in a roasting pan.
Put a cup of water in the bottom of the pan; loosely cover the chicken with foil and roast the chicken for 20 minutes. Turn the heat down to 375 degrees and continue roasting the chicken for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 degrees. Baste the chicken every 20 to 30 minutes to keep it moist. Remove the foil from the chicken for the last hour of roasting.
Remove the chicken from the pan and let rest, loosely covered with foil, on a large platter while you make the sauce.
To make the sauce: Whisk the wine, chicken broth and mustard into the pan juices; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until reduced by half. Add the cognac and whisk in the butter; simmer for a few minutes. Strain the sauce through a sieve into a serving bowl.
Carve the chicken and serve with the sauce.
Quinoa with Mushrooms and Spinach
Quinoa is a great way to add whole grains to your diet. It is also delicious, an instant favorite of most children and goes well with a variety of meats and vegetables.
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 leek, finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cloves garlic
1 c. quinoa
2 c. chicken broth
1 sprig fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp. dried
12 ounces mushrooms, quartered or sliced
5-6 oz. fresh baby spinach
Heat a little olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add the carrot, celery and leek, season with salt and pepper and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
Add the quinoa, chicken broth and thyme and bring to a boil. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the quinoa is tender.
While the quinoa is cooking, sauté the mushrooms in a little olive oil until lightly browned. Add them to the quinoa. When the quinoa is tender, add the spinach in 2 to 3 handfuls, tossing to combine and wilt the spinach. Check for seasoning and serve.
Linguine with Chicken, Olives and Capers
A little anchovy paste and a few olives and capers will add wonderful flavor to your sauce. You can leave them out but it would be a shame. If you are worried about a fishy taste from the anchovies, don’t. Chefs sneak them into sauces all the time (just check that bottle of Caesar salad dressing in your refrigerator.
About 2 c. leftover chicken, cut into bite-size pieces
1 c. chicken broth
1/4 tsp. chili flakes
1 tsp. anchovy paste
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 c. crushed tomatoes
1/2 tsp. dried Italian herbs
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
6 to 8 ounces linguine
About 12 Greek or Kalamata olives, pitted and quartered
1 to 2 T. capers
1 T. chopped flat-leaf parsley
Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
Combine the chicken with 1/2 cup of the broth in a bowl, toss and reserve.
Set a large pot of salted water over high heat to boil.
While the water boils, heat a little olive in a saucepan over medium heat, Add the anchovy paste and chili flakes and cook for 1 minute. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the crushed tomatoes, remaining chicken broth, Italian herbs and bay leaf; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat and continue simmering uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes. Add the chicken, olives and capers to the sauce and continue to simmer for a minute or two.
While the tomato sauce is simmering, cook the linguine in the boiling water according to package directions less 1 minute. Drain the pasta, reserving a little pasta water and return the pasta to the pot.
Remove the bay leaf, add the sauce to the pasta and toss to coat. Add a little of the pasta water if the pasta seems dry. Cover and cook on medium-low heat for 2 minutes to combine the flavors. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with grated Pecorino Romano cheese.
Susan Nye lives in New Hampshire and is a regular contributor to several New England magazines and newspapers.
Last updated by Morgen Thiboult Feb 1, 2011.