It’s important for Sunday dinners to offer sustenance for the busy week ahead, and also to provide minimal opportunities for weeping-induced culinary mishaps because I have never actually made it through a Sunday in all my 30 years without picking a fight with a loved one or spending the whole day with a vague sense of distress because Sunday is a transition from this week into next week and I HATE CHANGE and isn’t everyone upset about the inexorable march towards death while wearing 10-year-old pants I don’t even like but can’t afford to replace because my life is without meaning?
This means I put a lot of things in the oven, and call it a day.
Ingredients for Complicated Emotional Stuff Sunday Chicken Dinner
Chicken on the bone, any cut (I had 2 thighs and 1 breast cut into 3 pieces)
Green beans, trimmed if you want. Or not.
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced.
5-6 small white or red potatoes, cut into quarters
Optional: 1 kabocha squash bought like a month ago when I picked it up and said “What is this? It’s a dollar!” and then forgot to figure out how to cook until right now because I need to climb out of the complicated feelings I could probably visualize my way out of, but who has the time?, cut in slices. Or cubes. Google told me that the skin is edible and that for $10.99 a month I can learn how to meditate.
- Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Rinse your chicken pieces under cool running water and pat dry with a paper towel. Place chicken in a large bowl.
3. Wash your hands. Raw chicken is disgusting.
4. Add juice of 1 lemon and a drizzle of olive oil. Then add some salt, pepper, thyme, and paprika. Set aside chicken while oven pre-heats.
5. Cut the potatoes and slice the garlic, then combine on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle on some salt, pepper, and about 1 tsp thyme. I had fresh thyme and used 6 sprigs.
6. Wash and slice the squash. Arrange on another baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. The skin is edible! And who has $10.99 a month to spend on meditating? Isn’t it free?
7. When you say “What the fuck was that?” and then realize the oven is beeping to tell you it’s ready (rude), place chicken, potatoes, and squash in their respective pans in the oven and go back to binge-watching whatever television show is helping you to forget that your life is not totally without meaning. After all, you have a cat.
8. After about 20 minutes, give the potatoes and squash a shake or use a spatula to turn them over, so more than one side browns. Or don’t. It doesn’t matter.
9. Chicken cooks for about 45-50 minutes, depending on how big the pieces are. Ditto squash and potatoes.
10. To make green beans, blanch them for a few minutes in boiling water. This means you bring a pan of water to boil, then add the green beans for about 2-3 minutes, so they are a little less raw, but still bright green and crisp.
11. Drain beans, and place on plate. Drizzle with olive oil, the juice of 1/2 lemon, salt, pepper, and a few shakes of dill. Toss. These are good hot or at room temperature.
12. Throw everything else on a plate or platter. Who’s a good human? You are. You are!
You have made dinner despite the odds. May they be ever in your favor.