Easiest, most delish side dishes for a chicken roasted in a cast-iron pan? (Also, by the way, awfully easy. I describe how in the New in Homes section of the Toronto Star Saturday edition. Pick one up. After all, Monday and Tuesdays are hols, right, so you’ll need extra reading material. Unless you’re Doug Ford, that is.
Home-made flatbeads taste terrific and for some reason, always impresses guests. They shouldn’t. To make them, you simply throw a few ingredients into a bowl, and mix them into a dough that you flatten out and bake it before it rises much. Great also because you can decide at 4 p.m. that you’re going to add one to the menu.
I like to roll dough into a round, brush it with oil, poke my finger all over it, and sprinkle with Herbes de Provence and salt. You could add sliced roasted peppers, olives, etc. Bake it hot and fast.
Cheat the veg by splurging on a box of mixed greens, which you ameliorate with shavings of Parmesan, or thinly sliced radish. If you’re ambitious, add roasted beets, which you’ll stick in the oven with the chicken. Dress the beets with chopped walnuts you roasted in a pan earlier in the day.
The point of a meal like this is, of course, to carve out time – whether it’s to look after personal stuff (grooming, mental health, yoga) or to enjoy company more. You probably don’t need any suggestions for what to do with all that time. But here are a few we hope will amuse and inspire:
Play twister (clothing optional)
Discuss Nietzsche – man or superman — with father in law
Call a friend long distance and tell them what you’ve done all year (you may leave out the embarrassing bits, if you wish)
Quiz guests on the names of how many former prime ministers of Canada they can recall
Go for a walk in one of Toronto’s beautiful parks
Catch up on the Young and Restless. Yes, Victor is still alive. But he doesn’t appear much now without his shirt on, if you know what I mean. Niki still looks fantastic.
*** Which is not an excuse, of course, for ending up with a lampshade on your head.