Marge Perry, Newsday's weekly 3 Simple columnist, also writes, broadcasts, teaches and speaks about cooking, food and nutrition.
GARLIC-ROSEMARY-ORANGE ROASTED CHICKEN
3 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
6 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons salt, divided
1 (5- to 6-pound) roasting chicken
teaspoon black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat a roasting pan with cooking spray.
2. Chop the rosemary and garlic finely together and combine in a bowl with half the salt.
3. Trim the excess fat from the bird. Starting at the neck, loosen the skin without pulling it off, and use your fingers to spread the rosemary under the skin and on top of the meat. Insert the orange pieces in the cavity of the bird.
4. Tuck the tips of the wings under the back, and tie the drumsticks at the ends with kitchen twine if desired. Sprinkle the outside of the bird with remaining 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Place the bird, breast side up, on the baking sheet and roast in the center of the oven until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted deep in the thigh (not touching the bone) registers 170-175 degrees, about 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hours. Allow to stand 10 minutes before carving. Cut bird in half and set aside one-half for one of the following recipes. Serves 4.
Nutritional analysis for each serving: 356 calories, 38 g protein, 2 g carbohydrates, 0 g fiber, 21 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 696 mg sodium
TIP: This roasted chicken has enough leftovers for one of the two other recipes, and, perhaps, a sandwich.
BUFFALO CHICKEN PANINI
4 tablespoons hot sauce (such as Frank's)
4 teaspoons paprika
2 cups sliced cooked chicken
cup crumbled blue cheese
8 slices rye bread
1. Combine the hot sauce and paprika; divide the mixture in half and toss one-half with the chicken.
2. Sprinkle the crumbled cheese over the top of 4 slices of the bread; top with the chicken. Brush the remaining 4 slices of bread on 1 side with the reserved hot sauce mixture; close the sandwiches with the sauce side facing down.
3. Coat a grill pan with cooking spray and heat over medium high: add the sandwiches and top with a heavy skillet, pressing lightly for the first minute or so. Cook, weighted, until toasted and well-marked on the undersides, about 3 minutes. Turn the sandwiches, again weight with the skillet and cook another 3 minutes until the cheese is melted and the panini are well-marked and toasted. Makes 4 servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving: 406 calories, 39 g protein, 33 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 13 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 1241 mg sodium
ASIAN RICE NOODLES WITH CHICKEN AND PEANUTS
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
cup lime juice
2 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons brown sugar
teaspoon Asian chili paste
6 ounces rice noodles
1 cup pre-shredded carrot
2 cups shredded cabbage
cucumber, quartered lengthwise and cut across in thin slices
1 red bell pepper, cut in thin strips
cup chopped scallion
2 cups diced cooked chicken
cup peanuts, coarsely chopped
1. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium high; add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Remove from heat; stir in the lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar and chili paste until smooth.
2. Cook the noodles in plenty of lightly salted boiling water for 2 minutes; add the carrots to the pot and cook 1 minute. Place the cabbage in the colander and drain the noodles over it. Toss with the warm sauce. Add the cucumber, bell pepper, scallions, chicken and peanuts and toss well. Makes 4 servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving: 483 calories, 30 g protein, 4 g fiber, 14 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 940 mg sodium
TIP: Carve or cut up only as much chicken as you need for the first meal; the leftovers stay more moist when left intact.