I had a taste for roast chicken or turkey yesterday, so I went ahead and made the chicken (leftovers will be used in a forthcoming BRAID). A nice meal for a 90+ degree day, right? I don't care, it was delicious.
And why was it so delicious? 1) Brining the chicken 2) Making a new side dish that forced tons of veggies into my anti-veggie husband and was super delicious and homey tasting.
Step one - the brine - a ton of salt, a smaller ton of brown sugar, and peppercorns....I added about 6 cups of water, boiled until the salt/sugar were dissolved, then cooled with ice.
The chicken goes to its watery bath - it was brined for about 3 1/2 hours. Overnight would have been better, but this was a somewhat last-minute dinner decision.
And into a very snug roasting pan stuffed with onion and garlic, brushed with butter, salt, and pepper. Followed by a 425 degree oven for about 90 minutes total.
Meanwhile, I got an onion sauteeing for the side dish.
I wanted to use the zucchini we have flying in from the garden. But I wanted something really tasty that would go with the chicken/mashed potato/gravy dinner. And I came across THIS recipe - best of both worlds - full of veggies AND tastes like stuffing. I chopped up 2 small and 1 large zucchini and grated up 3 carrots (I could have done more - you didn't taste them at all). These were sauteed for about 5 minutes after the onions had begun to soften.
Meanwhile, I mixed 2 c of Pepperidge Farm cubed herbed stuffing mix with 1 c of reduced fat soup cream and 1 can of reduced fat cream of chicken soup.
Mix the veggies in and pour into a 9x13 casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for a half hour (or, if like me, you have a roast going at 425 degrees, bake it at 425 for 10 minutes until the chicken comes out to rest, then finish at 350).
The chicken was delicious -the brining really helps. My potatoes were only so-so because I was trying to cut down on the butter/cream and used just a bit of skim milk. But the zucchini casserole MORE than made up for any potato deficiencies. It tasted like really moist stuffing. The end. NO weird veggie taste, certainly no carrot taste. If I thought there wouldn't be a family revolt, it MIGHT become my stuffing side dish with a tiny bit of tweaking.
The gravy really wasn't that blah looking. It had nice flavor from the onions and garlic (and the splash of wine I threw it while thickening didn't hurt either!)