Tuesday, 3 January 2012

“Potatoes the Perfect Winter Food!”

Despite being nutritious and delicious any way you cook them, the humble potato always struggled for the praise and recognition it deserved.  From the time of their discovery by the Europeans in South America (not Ireland!) in the mid 1500’s they were not accepted as a food by France until 1780….

By: Chef Margie Arosh

During the famine following the Seven Years' War the potato was made popular to France by Frenchman, August Parmentier.  He set up ‘Potato Soup Kitchens’ to help the poor in Paris.  He was recognized by the government for his work and the famous potato soup ‘Potage Parmentier’, was named after him.  It is said that Ben Franklin dined at Parmentier's home and was treated to course after course of potato-based dishes, up to and including a potato-based after-dinner liqueur.
Potatoes got a bad rap due to our love of deep frying them or topping them with high fat ingredients.  Potatoes are 80% water and are a good source of vitamins, minerals and fiber, especially if you eat the skin.  One medium plain potato has only about 100 calories   
Did you know that Potatoes have more ‘Potassium” than any other vegetable even more than bananas?  One potato has almost 900 milligrams, which is about 20% of what you need every day.
When I’m not in the mood to cook and I need a fast satisfying dinner, I turn to my all time favorite recipe, ‘Roast Chicken and Potatoes’.   Simply combine the ingredients in a pan and roast until crispy and delicious!!

Margie's Roast Chicken & Potatoes

  • 6 medium peeled or unpeeled red potatoes, well scrubbed, cut into wedges
  • 2 large onions cut into wedges
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped or pressed
  • 1 chicken whole or cut into pieces
  • 1 teaspoon each kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 375°F.  Place chicken, potatoes and onions in a large roasting pan and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.  Mix the olive oil with the garlic and paprika in a small bowl and combine well with the chicken, potatoes and onions.
Place chicken uncovered in oven and roast for up 90 minutes.  Rotate the pan after one hour for even cooking and continue roasting until skin is crispy and golden or an instant-read thermometer inserted into the chicken thigh registers 165°F.
Taste to adjust seasoning and enjoy!
Servers: 4 - 6

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