Roast Chickens - Fine Cooking

The One Meal Fits All Way To Entertain

Time crunched but wanting to entertain, here’s the creative way one woman takes care of business.

Roast Chickens - Fine Cooking


SAVE TIME & ENERGY | If in-home entertaining is something you’d like to do more of but you don’t have the extra time or energy to put into an elaborate production, consider adopting the game plan Janie Collier uses to host twice-monthly Saturday night suppers.

Collier has developed one wonderful meal that she can serve to carnivores, vegetarians and vegans—and she  repeats it—with slight variations and tweaks—in perpetuity. “If I had to come up with a new menu and source new ingredients every time I wanted to have people over, I just wouldn’t get around to it much.”

Janie Collier’s One Meal Fits All Saturday Night Supper

THE MAIN—“Every top chef and cookbook author has a classic roast chicken, and I’ve tried a few, but my favourite is Pam Anderson’s dry-brine version,” says Collier. Anderson’s recipe comes with a variety of sauces that are great for mixing things up. (CLICK HERE for the recipe; CLICK HERE for sauces). To make sure she’ll have enough meat, Collier roasts two Lilydale 3 1/2-pound birds from Costco.

THE SIDES—Non-meat eaters need something warm in their stomach, so Collier typically serves a warm side dish and a room temperature salad. One of her favourites comes via mum: a vegetable gratin from Diane Clement (CLICK HERE for the recipe). Another one comes from a dear friend: a roasted potato salad with green beans, tomatoes, olives, arugula and basil pesto  (SEE RECIPE below).

Dorie Greenspan's French Apple Cake


THE DESSERT—Dorrie Greenspan’s make-in-minutes French apple cake (pictured here) is what Collier whips up if she can (CLICK HERE for the recipe she found on Frugalbits); Ikea’s Appelkaka ($4.49 in store for four generous slices) is what she substitutes when she runs out of time.

Roasted Potato Salad With Green Beans, Tomatoes, Olives, Arugula And Basil Pesto

Serves 6

2 lb new potatoes, halved
2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cups fresh green beans, trimmed
5 cups fresh arugula
1 cup Kalamata olives, pitted
Golda’s basil pesto, to taste

Preheat oven to 425. Toss potatoes with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast at 425 for 25-30 minutes.

While the potatoes are in the oven, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add green beans and cook, 3-4 minutes, until bright green and crisp-tender. Remove green beans and place in a bowl.

Toss potatoes, beans, tomatoes and olives in a bowl with basil pesto to taste. Mix in the arugula. Serve warm or at room temperature.—Ruth Rainey

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