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Spice-Scented Roast Chicken and Vegetables

Slender potatoes and asparagus make smart partners for spice-rubbed roasted chicken pieces. The entire meal cooks together, so there is no need for sides. To finish, offer fresh berries topped with sweetened yogurt mixed with lime zest.

Ingredients:

  • 1 chicken, 2 3/4 to 3 lb., cut into 8 pieces 
  • 4 Tbs. olive oil   
  • 1 Tbs. low-sodium soy sauce  
  • 1 Tbs. mustard seeds  
  • 1 Tbs. cumin seeds  
  • 1 onion, finely chopped 
  • Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste 
  • 1 to 1 1/4 lb. fingerling potatoes or small red potatoes, halved lengthwise 
  • 2 bunches asparagus, about 1 lb. total, ends trimmed 

Directions:

Position 1 rack in the middle of an oven and 1 rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 425°F.

Pat the chicken dry and place in a large bowl. Add 2 Tbs. of the olive oil and the soy sauce and toss to coat. In a spice grinder or mortar with a pestle, grind the mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Set aside 2 tsp. of the spice mixture; add the remaining mixture to the chicken. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Arrange the chicken, skin side up, on half of a large rimmed baking sheet.

Place the potatoes in the same bowl. Add 1 Tbs. of the olive oil and toss to coat. Add the reserved 2 tsp. spice mixture, salt and pepper and toss to coat. Arrange the potatoes, cut side down, on the other half of the baking sheet. Place the baking sheet on the middle oven rack and roast until the legs, thighs and wings start to brown and the breasts and potatoes are cooked through, about 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the asparagus on a small rimmed baking sheet or pizza pan. Drizzle the spears with the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil and toss to coat. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Transfer the chicken breasts and the potatoes to a warmed platter and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Place the baking sheet with the asparagus on the lower oven rack and return the sheet with the remaining chicken to the middle rack. Roast the chicken and asparagus until the legs, thighs and wings are opaque when tested with a small paring knife and the asparagus is just crisp-tender, about 10 minutes. Add the asparagus and chicken to the platter and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Weeknight Fresh & Fast, by Kristine Kidd (Williams-Sonoma, 2011).