Friday, November 27, 2009

A happy accident.

On Saturday morning, I visited the St. Stephen's Greenmarket at 82nd and First, where I bought some dill, brussels sprouts, shallots and beets - at least, I thought they were beets.

Turns out, they were a batch of the biggest purple radishes I have ever seen. I made this discovery when I started slicing them for a roasted beet and cucumber salad. Not to be deterred, I decided to roast the radishes instead, and to add some sliced carrots to replace the sweetness of the beets.

It also turns out that roasted radishes and carrots make a pretty damn good salad when tossed with cucumber, dill, onion and a lemon vinaigrette. The salad went perfectly with my roast chicken thigh, and I had to restrain myself from eating the second half of the meal, which had been earmarked for Monday's lunch.

All in all, a good showing.

Roast Chicken with Radish, Carrot and Cucumber Salad

Olive oil
1 bunch radishes, washed and cut into one-inch pieces
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into half-inch thick half-moons
Salt and pepper
2 chicken thighs (bone-in, skin-on)
2 kirby cucumbers, seeded and cut into one-inch pieces
1/4 large white onion, thinly sliced
3 tbs. fresh dill, finely chopped
1 small shallot, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Juice of one lemon
1 tsp. honey
2 tbs. canola oil

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and brush the foil with a bit of olive oil. Spread the carrots and radishes evenly on the foil, drizzle with a bit more olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place in the preheated oven and roast for 25-35 minutes, stirring once or twice, until tender and beginning to brown deeply.

Meanwhile, pat the chicken thighs dry, brush another baking sheet with olive oil (no foil this time), and place the chicken thighs on the sheet. Season with salt and pepper and add to the oven. Roast for 30-40 minutes, until the skin is crisp and golden, and the meat's juices run clear. Set aside to rest for 5-10 minutes.

Place the cucumbers, onion and dill in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the shallot, mustard, lemon juice, honey and a bit of salt and pepper. Add the oil in a small stream, whisking as you go, until the mixture is emulsified. Set aside.

Once the roasted vegetables have cooled for a minute or two, add them to the cucumber. Add half of the vinaigrette and toss the salad until all ingredients are evenly distributed. Taste and add more vinaigrette as needed, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon the salad evenly onto two plates, and place a chicken thigh on top of each little pile. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 2.

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