Thursday, April 7, 2011

Rosemary, Thyme and Lavender Roasted Potatoes and Grilled Chicken

As you know, one of the true pleasures that I relish is gardening and my favorite section of the kitchen garden is the herb bed. This year the plot seems to be doing very well and I am always searching for new recipes and ideas to incorporate my bountiful herb harvest into dishes prepared for the family. Recently I decided to get creative with some lavender, a new addition to the herb gardent this year, and some wonderful new red potatoes that we picked up at the market. As is often the case when I start cooking, after a glass or two of Merlot or Pinot Noir, I tend to become very creative and even bold with the use of spices.

After chopping the lavender and enjoying its fragrant aroma, I decided that it would be complimented quite nicely by some rosemary and when I went to the garden to collect the rosemary, the German Thyme caught my eye. So off to the kitchen I went, herbs in hand and when I was finished chopping I had quite an aromatic mixture of herbs to use on my roasted red potatoes. If you are looking for an easy potatoe dish that especially compliments grilled chicken, beef or pork, try this recipe, I think you will agree, it is a keeper.

Begin by quartering your potatoes, leaving the skin intact. Place the quartered spuds into a large bowl leaving ample room to stir the potatoes in the next step.

Add some "EVO" (extra virgin olive oil) to the potatoes using enough oil so that the potatoes are well covered in oil. Then liberally sprinkle your chopped rosemary, thyme and lavendar on the potatoes. You might also add a couple of cloves of minced garlic as well, stirring the potatoes in order to coat the poatoes for roasting.

Next, transfer the potatoes into a large pyrex baking dish and roast them uncovered in the oven at 375 degrees. Prepare to experience a delightful aroma as the potatoes roast to perfection.

I was so inspired by the herb mixture, or at least by the wine, that I decided to use the same grouping of herbs to prepare a marinade for the grilled chicken. As you know by now, I cook alot with wine, and occasionally the wine ends up in the recipe I am preparing as well. As a matter of fact, for the grilled chicken, I did save some red wine to be used in the marinade along with the chopped herbs and minced garlic.
This day, I was grilling chicken legs and thighs so I placed the chicken into the same bowl used earlier for the potatoes, there was just the right amount of residual extra virgin olive oil remaining in the bowl to use as part of the marinade. I sprinkled the herbs on the chicken and then stirred in some red wine. I allowed this to marinade for a couple of hours before firing up the grill. The savory mixture of rosemary along with the thyme and lavender was excellent on the smoky grilled chicken, and thanks to the liquid marinade process, the chicken was very moist and flavorful after grilling.

The grilled chicken and roasted potatoes pair very well with a ceasar salad or even some fresh cole slaw. I hope you get the opportunity to try these two great recipes soon and that you enjoy the meal as much as we did. This is how we do it in The Land of Palm Trees, Bon Appetit!

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